April 17, 2003
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Remains identified as Kettering man
Anthony Moorman

Greene County officials identified the remains found in John Bryan State Park Sunday night as those of Anthony Moorman, a 20-year-old Kettering man who had been missing since last September.

Two hikers found Moorman’s remains on Sunday around 5:30 p.m., on the southeast end of the state park, near Clifton and Larkins Roads in Miami Township, about a hundred feet inside the border of the park. The remains were discovered in a heavily wooded area near the Little Miami River, in what Scott Fletcher, the manager of the state park, described as a “pretty remote part of the park.”

Officials with the Greene County Sheriff’s Department, the coroner’s office and John Bryan State Park worked together on the investigation. They arrived on the scene around 6 and worked until 9:30 or 10 Sunday night. A small team of Miami Township Fire-Rescue personnel was called in to provide lighting, Hope Robbins, the assistant fire chief, said.

Officials removed the remains on Monday morning, after resuming their investigation in the state park a few hours after sunrise.

The coroner’s office ruled Moorman’s death a suicide by hanging, Bill McCarthy, an administrator with the office, said. The office identified the remains using dental records, he said.

A journal containing poems and other writings was found with Moorman’s remains, McCarthy said. Noting that the journal was in “bad shape,” McCarthy said that officials are trying to dry the journal out and preserve it, hoping that it may contain clues as to why Moorman committed suicide.

Moorman, who was called Andy, had been missing since September 11, 2002. He was last heard from on that day when he talked to his mother on the phone. When he failed to show up at work two days later, he was reported missing.

His car was found in John Bryan State Park. The Miami Township fire department, park rangers and search dogs unsuccessfully searched the park for three days.

On Monday, before the remains were identified, investigators speculated that the remains could have been those of Moorman or Tim Lopez, the 18-year-old Yellow Springs High School student who disappeared on Jan. 22, 2002. Lopez’s car was found near Grinnell Mill in the South Glen. Lopez’s disappearance remains a mystery.

Investigators notified the families of both men about the discovery, Chief Deputy John Prugh of the Sheriff’s Department said. Prugh extended his condolences to Moorman’s family.

Moorman’s death is the second area hanging that has been discovered by a hiker.

On March 5, a hiker in Glen Helen found the body of Jonathan Preston, a 21-year-old Urbana resident, hanging from a tree. The coroner’s office ruled that Preston also committed suicide by hanging, McCarthy said.


—Robert Mihalek