Commonwealth Journal

December 16, 2013

Skeletal remains found in southern Pulaski

by Chris Harris
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset — The remains of a western Pulaski County man who was reported missing last spring are believed to have been located this weekend by authorities.

According to the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department, the skeletal remains possibly belong to John Beach, who was age 34 when he disappeared in the Elihu-Cabin Hollow Road area of southern Pulaski earlier this year. A positive identification has not been made as of yet.

On Sunday at 9:50 a.m., the sheriff’s office Patrol Division responded to a report of human remains  being found in a remote wooded area off Elihu-Cabin Hollow Road. Upon arrival, units were able to confirm the discovery.

Detectives with the sheriff’s Criminal Investigation Division, along with the Pulaski County Coroner’s Office, also responded to the scene and conducted an examination. Investigators found and recovered several human bones, which are being sent to the Kentucky State Medical Examiner’s Office in Frankfort for examination by Dr. Emily Craig.  

 Investigators believe the remains could belong to Beach, who was reported missing on April 19 by his family, approximately 24 hours after he disappeared after he and his brother ran out of gas and went walking for help.

At the time, the sheriff said that based on his conversation with the brother that Beach had been “hallucinating, hearing what he believed to be voices in the wood” and ran off into the woods — something he’d done several times during the incident, forcing his brother to catch up, according to the victim’s sister at the time — while the brother stopped at another house for help and fell asleep.

Beach had only been out of prison for less than a month before he went missing, according to his sister at the time.

Pulaski County Coroner Chuck Godbey said that the bones were scattered across an area of about 150 to 200 feet in a clearing, and there were clothing items nearby that matched the description authorities were given of what Beach was wearing when he went missing.

“We’re pretty sure we know who it is, but we’re going to make sure, and determine whether there’s been any foul play or not,” said Godbey.

At this point in the investigation, foul play is not suspected, according to the sheriff’s office.

Godbey said that with temperatures at around 25 degrees the night Beach went missing, and the report that he had taken off his shirt at one point, the working assumption right now is that if it is Beach, he may have died from exposure to the elements.

 The investigation is ongoing by the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office and the Pulaski  Coroner’s Office. Further details will be release as they become available.