The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office have found a body matching the description of the 73-year-old man who went missing on Thanksgiving, Sheriff Marcos López said at a press conference Thursday.
Around 1 p.m. search dogs found a body in a swamp about a mile away from where Herman McClenton was reported missing last Thursday, López said. He was last seen visiting his family in Kissimmee after traveling from his hometown of Eustis, the sheriff’s office said.
“We are very hopeful it is him,” López told reporters. “We found articles of clothing that matches what he was last seen wearing a little further deeper into the swamp.”
Video footage from last Thursday showed McClenton walking, wearing a red hat with a religious quote, a black t-shirt, blue jeans and black shoes.
The body was found after deputies expanded their search in a swampy area along State Road 429, López said. His family members have been notified a body was found that matches his description.
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It is still unclear how long the body has been there.
McClenton, who has dementia, was last seen at Secret Key Cove, a rental villa property, the sheriff’s office said.
“We do have some videos of him running behind houses, walking behind houses, and actually in some areas just west of here, subdivisions that are connected,” Sheriff Marcos Lopez said at a press conference last weekend.
At Thursday’s press briefing López thanked Brevard County Sheriff’s Office for providing assistance with the search dogs who led deputies to the body.
“The area he was found is approximately chest-deep in water. Very swampy. Very hard to get to,” López said. “At this time we’re leaving it as a missing person who got lost.”
An autopsy will be conducted by the Orange-Osceola Medical Examiner’s Office to determine a cause of death.