COX'S COVE — The RCMP will continue its investigation, in conjunction with the medical examiner's office, to determine the cause of death of a Cox's Cove man found Tuesday.
No foul play is suspected in the death of 54-year-old Alpheus Payne, who was reported missing from the north shore of the Bay of Islands community by his family 11:30 p.m. Monday. He had been berry picking in an area located off Country Road near the mink farm in the town.
The search for the overdue berry picker came to a tragic end just after noon Tuesday. RCMP Sgt. Terry Foster confirmed the body was found with assistance from a team in a helicopter, after the extensive ground search had been ongoing since the previous night had not located him.
A spotter in the helicopter, arranged by the provincial emergency measures organization, saw a white berry container, according to the officer. Members of the ground search teams found the body approximately 400 metres from a woods access road just past the mink farm where his vehicle had been discovered the night before.
Foster said the area where the body was found, approximately 40 metres from the bucket which was spotted overhead, was on a mountain ridge.
The Bay of Islands and Deer Lake Search and Rescue teams worked jointly, along with the RCMP and its dog unit, in the search. They were also assisted by members of the Cox's Cove Volunteer Fire Department and local people throughout the area.
Foster said it was tragic scene in the community Tuesday.
"You always hope for the best in these searches," he said. "You always hope they are going to come to a good, happy ending. Unfortunately, they don't always do that."