UPDATED Sunday, 2:53 p.m. — The search for the Ridgefield man who did not return from an early morning run Saturday has been called off after a group of volunteers found a man matching his description on Florida Road near High Valley Road, where he lived.
David Riek, 44, was due back from an early morning run at 8:30 Saturday morning, but did not return, Fire Chief Heather Burford said Saturday.
“A group of volunteer searchers did locate the body of a male that fits the description of David. We’re not positively IDing him yet,” she said, “but the search has been turned over to the PD for investigation.”
The body will require extrication from the woods after the scene is cleared by investigators.
“I can confirm he has been down for some time,” Chief Burford said.
Hundreds of volunteers joined emergency personnel in the search Mr. Riek, Fire Chief Heather Burford said.
Some 35 volunteers helped out yesterday amidst troublesome weather. Sunday the number of volunteers grew 10-fold Chief Burford said.
“We ended up setting up a whole organization point down at Branchville and probably processed upwards of 350, 400 people easily,” Chief Burford said. “People brought in food if they weren’t going to hike.”
First Selectman Rudy Marconi said that the volunteer effort was heartening and the loss of life a tragedy.
“It really is a true community. People really do pitch in and help out when it’s needed,” he said.
“It’s just very very sad — a young guy, bright future, wonderful family — that his life would end this way is tragic.”
Sunday, 7:45 a.m.
Lindy Olszewski reports a citizen search is being organized at 9 this morning at Branchville Elementery School. “Enter from Rte 102,” Ms. Olszewski tweeted.
Four state police dogs have already arrived on the scene by 7:45.
Some 60 searchers — 35 civilian volunteers and 25 emergency personnel — were looking for the man throughout Saturday, Fire Chief Heather Burford said.
“We brought everyone in due to the dangers of the weather and have now postponed the search until tomorrow morning due to darkness,” Chief Burford said. “It’s too dangerous to have people in the woods… Overnight we will be monitoring leads and conducting patrols. “
Mr. Riek, a white male, is bald and six feet tall. There is no description of what he was wearing this morning when he left for his run.
Since he is a long-distance runner and he lives in the Florida Road area of southeastern Ridgefield, his route could have taken him through any of four towns. He was not carrying a cell phone or ID.
Police and fire personnel have been looking for Mr. Riek since a little after 9 Saturday morning.
Police have sent a telephone alert to Ridgefield households about the overdue runner.
Anyone with any information should call the police at 203-438-6531.