Missing man’s body is found

ACADIA NATIONAL PARK — A body found off a carriage road in Acadia National Park Friday afternoon is that of Timothy Philpott of Ellsworth, state officials confirmed Tuesday.

National Park Service (NPS) personnel and volunteers had been searching for Philpott since his car was found on Jan. 13 at the Parkman Mountain parking area located off Route 198 in Mount Desert. A park official said at the time he was not believed to be hiking or skiing. He was 50 years old.

“We’re not commenting on the condition of the body,” Acadia spokesman John Kelly said Saturday. That’s the purview of the State Medical Examiner’s office, he said, as is determining the cause of death.

“The location would not have been conducive to a fall, because it’s forested,” Kelly said. “It’s not a precipice. If someone fell from the carriage road, they would have hit a tree and stopped.”

The cause and manner of death remain under investigation, spokesman Mark Belserene of the Medical Examiner’s office said. Several different tests will be run on the remains, he said, and a determination should be made in a few weeks.

An extensive search led by rangers and the Maine Warden Service in the days after Philpott’s car was found was called off due to snow and severe winter weather. In the months since, Kelly said, searches have continued as time, weather and resources allowed. Volunteer search and rescue groups including Mount Desert Island Search and Rescue (MDISAR), Maine Association of Search and Rescue (MASAR) and Maine Search and Rescue Dogs (MESARD) have been involved.

“On Friday morning, three members of MESARD using three trained search dogs were searching an area of the park that had not been covered,” said an NPS statement released Saturday. “At approximately 11 a.m., one of the search dogs alerted on a backpack that was found 40 feet downslope from the Around Mountain carriage road in a heavily forested area northwest of Parkman Mountain.

“The other two search dog teams moved to this location to broaden the search. At approximately 2:45 p.m., a search dog alerted on human remains, which were located 170 feet downslope from the location of the backpack.”

Park officials obtained permission from the Maine Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to remove the body and then organized a recovery with the assistance of MDISAR. Five park rangers and eight MDISAR members worked to recover the remains, which were taken to the Medical Examiner’s office in Augusta, Kelly said. It was a technical operation given the steep slope, and a solemn one because of the loss of a life.

The Warden Service has been in touch with Philpott’s family, he said.

“We appreciate the efforts of the volunteers from Maine Search and Rescue Dogs in conducting the search,” Acadia Superintendent Kevin Schneider said in a statement. “We also thank the Maine Warden Service, Maine Forest Service, Maine Association for Search and Rescue and Mount Desert Island Search and Rescue for their time and expertise over the past three months.”

Kelly noted that the search and rescue dogs have special permission to be off-leash while performing their duties, but all other dogs in the park must be on a leash at all times.


Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.