Missing man found dead, foul play not suspected | TheUnion.com

Missing man found dead, foul play not suspected

A man with dementia who had previously been reported as missing was found dead Tuesday afternoon in Grass Valley, the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office said.

John Stewart, 70, was found deceased in a pond on a property near Retrac Way around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, his dog waiting nearby, the Sheriff’s Office said in a press release. While authorities will not release an official cause of death until an autopsy is completed, it appears likely that Stewart died as a result of having drowned in the pond.

Stewart, who suffered from dementia and other undisclosed medical conditions, was reported missing Monday night after he reportedly left his residence on the 15000 block of Harley Court with his dog, Rico.

Due to his medical conditions, Stewart had an in-home caretaker, who first reported Stewart missing to authorities around 9 p.m. Monday, according to Andrew Trygg, a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office.

The caretaker, who regularly visited Stewart a couple of times a day, apparently had gone outside during a visit, and upon their return had found that Stewart had left the residence with Rico.

The 70-year-old Grass Valley resident had been missing for 16 hours when searchers found his body in the pond Tuesday afternoon, Trygg said.

“Located not far from Stewart’s body, waiting at the edge of the pond, was his loyal dog Rico,” the Sheriff’s Office said in Tuesday’s press release. It appears as though Rico, a Rottweiler puppy, had stayed with Stewart the entire time after he had left his residence the previous evening, Trygg said.

The dog was unharmed, and has been placed in the care of some of Stewart’s family, Trygg added.

Foul play is not suspected in Stewart’s death or disappearance, although the Sheriff’s Office will not rule out any cause of death until the results of the autopsy have been reviewed.

Trygg said the search for Stewart was made possible through the assistance of the Sheriff’s Office’s partner agencies, including the Placer County Sheriff’s Office and the Yuba County Sheriff’s Office, noting that Nevada County authorities are currently stretched thin as they have also been conducting an unrelated search for a person in the Truckee area.

Stephen Wyer is a staff writer with The Union. He can be reached at swyer@theunion.com

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