Coroner: Caldwell man found dead in forest died of natural causes

GEM COUNTY --A Caldwell man found dead in the GemCounty wilderness Thursday afternoon died from natural causes.That word today from Gem County Coroner John Buck. Foul play has been ruled out.

Gem County Sheriff's Posse members found Brian Pratzner's body in the mountains of northernGemCounty around 150 yards from where Pratzner's car was Monday night. That was the last place he was seen, and the place searchers used as a command base each day.

The Gem Countyprosecutor is helping out the sheriff's office because they are busy investigating the case.

He said the body was found by a member of the sheriff's search team in a very wooded area within a quarter of a mile to where the command post was set up.

Pratzner s wife told police they were hunting for mushrooms in the mountains above Ola Monday when he never came back to their car.

The thick vegetation and the vastness of the area created big problems for searchers.

The vastness, the thickness, it's all of it. It's not ideal to be searching for anybody, said Gem County Chief Deputy Donnie Wunder.

Despite difficult conditions, upwards of 50 people were out Wednesday looking for the 38-year-old man.

It's like finding a needle in a haystack, because you've got hundreds, if not thousands of acres here that we can cover. We've had 48 hours basically to cover a lot of ground, said Wunder.

When Pratzner went missing his wife says he had no cell phone, food or survival gear.


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