Saturday, January 2, 2016

Searchers use drone to find body of missing Cape Cod man

Wellfleet Police Department ·  Briefing of the drone pilot at the staging area.

WELLFLEET, Mass. (WHDH) - Police on Cape Cod have located the body of a missing Yarmouth man with the help of a drone.

According to Wellfleet Police, William Fleming, 56, was reported missing by his family after he was last seen on Dec. 20. 

Police said they got reports that his car was stuck in the dirt in a secluded area in Wellfleet.

The area was searched by police Tuesday after the car was located but Fleming was not found.

On Thursday, Wellfleet Police said they had located Fleming's body around 11:46 a.m. with the help of a drone. 

Fleming's body was located in the marsh area off Lt. Island. 

Members of the search team worked their way through the marsh and were able to identify him. 

The incident is now under investigation by police. 


William Fleming

WELLFLEET— Searchers used a drone to fly over inaccessible areas of Lieutenant Island in Wellfleet Thursday to find the body of a missing Yarmouth man, Wellfleet police said.

William Fleming, 56, had been reported missing on December 20 by his family. Authorities said they found his pickup truck stuck in sand on a dirt road on the island earlier.

The island is surrounded by hundreds of acres of marshland and becomes inaccessible during unusual high tides.

Searchers included Wellfleet police, K9 units from Yarmouth and Barnstable police and Barnstable County Sheriff's Office, as well as a helicopter from the Massachusetts State Police Air Wing.

Searchers used a small drone to fly over as much of the island as possible. During what was to be the last flight of the day searchers noticed what turned out to be Fleming's body among trees just before noon on Thursday.

The Cape and Island District Attorney's Office said the body been turned over to the state Medical Examiner's office for an autopsy. 


December 31, 2015:   Police on Cape Cod are still searching for a Yarmouth man who was last seen Dec. 20 and whose truck was found abandoned on a dirt road in Wellfleet.

The Wellfleet Police Department posted on its Facebook page that the search for William Fleming, 56, was unsuccessful Wednesday and would begin again Thursday. They asked people to stay away from Lieutenant Island, where Fleming's truck was found Monday.

Wellfleet police said Fleming's family reported he had been missing since Dec. 20, when he left in his blue 2014 Toyota pickup with an unknown destination.

On Monday, that truck was found in a "secluded" area of town, police said. Someone notified police that there was a suspicious vehicle stuck on a dirt road in the area of Lieutenant Island in Wellfleet.

Realizing that it was the truck of the missing Fleming, Wellfleet police search nearby and called K9 units from Barnstable and Yarmouth police to help. The search was called off after a few hours Monday, and has been continued every day since, Wellfleet police said.

On Wednesday, even more K9 units and the Air Wing of the Massachusetts State Police were called to assist in the search.

Anyone with information about Fleming is asked to call police in Yarmouth at (508) 775-0445 or in Wellfleet at (508) 349-3702.

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