Missing man Joshua Nordyke found deceased, Nevada County authorities say | TheUnion.com

Missing man Joshua Nordyke found deceased, Nevada County authorities say

Joshua Nordyke

Joshua Nordyke once went hunting — with Nerf guns.

Ryan Durham’s son recently reminded him of the “hunting” trip. Nordyke, 37, loved kids. He was good with them, Durham said.

“We all love him very much,” Durham said of his friend Nordyke. “He’s Uncle Josh.

“It’s a damn shame,” he added.

Someone searching for Nordyke, missing since Monday, found his body around 4:40 p.m. Thursday along Little Deer Creek, west of Cascade Canal Trail. Officials scheduled an autopsy for Friday. Results are expected Monday, said Mike Sullivan, chief deputy coroner.

“There’s no suspected foul play,” Sullivan added. “At this point it looks like it’ll probably be due to exposure.”

Nordyke had been reported missing on Tuesday. Sullivan said the Sheriff’s Office conducted a missing persons investigation. It checked homeless and warming shelters. However, officials didn’t use search-and-rescue volunteers. Sullivan said his office knew of no specific area to search.

“He had a huge heart for all his friends,” Durham said. “He battled demons, like we all do.”

Durham went to kindergarten with Nordyke in Ventura, though he didn’t realize that until they reconnected in his sophomore year of high school in Nevada County.

“He had a lot of friends from all over,” Durham said.

Laurel Manter, another friend, also met Nordyke under odd circumstances. She said Nordyke approached her when they were both 16 years old. The first thing he did was insult her clothing.

“And I insulted him back, and we became friends,” Manter said. “That was his way. He was a huge joker.”

Manter said she had more bravado than common sense in her youth. Nordyke kept her safe.

She lost part of herself when she learned Nordyke had died.

“I just think it’s a really tragic loss to our community,” she added. “His reach really affected a lot of people.”

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.

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