The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, along with volunteer searchers, located a deceased person earlier today just before noon. Canines commonly referred to as “cadaver dogs” that are specifically trained in the detection of deceased animals to include humans were utilized in the search that occurred early this morning.
The victim was located in an extremely remote, wooded area approximately one half mile from the residence where a man was reported missing last week to authorities on June 2, 2017. That residence is located at 580 Little Estatoee Rd.
Gabriel Bradley Hein (28yoa) was reported missing to the Sheriff’s Office after he was last seen walking away from his parents’ home on the evening of Wednesday, May 31, 2017. He was exhibiting signs and symptoms characteristic of paranoia and making strange statements that “people were out to get him”.
The remains of a decomposed male that was found today is believed to be Mr. Hein based on several pieces of evidence found at the scene. A handgun was also recovered near the victim’s body and preliminary investigation is the victim may have died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Sheriff Rick Clark was on the scene during the search and responded to the remote site where the victim was recovered.
Sheriff Clark stated…
“We had never given up hope that we could find Mr. Hein alive and well so that we could reunite him with his family and get him the help that he needed.
Unfortunately, it appears that in the early stages of his disappearance he chose to end his life. Our hearts and prayers continue to remain with his family during this heartbreaking discovery today.”
Further examination of the body at the request of the Coroner’s Office will be conducted to absolutely confirm the identity of the deceased. The investigation remains active and is still on-going pending the results of that examination.