A group of four volunteers searching for Radivoje “Ray” Novakovic found his body Sunday afternoon in Hugo. The 75-year-old Hugo man had been missing since leaving his house on a walk seven days earlier.
The volunteers came across the body in the Fable Hill neighborhood, west of Highway 61. Novakovic’s body was found about a mile from his house.
The area had been heavily saturated, said Washington County Sheriff William Hutton, but the terrain made for tough searching. The body was located in a pond-like area among cattails and other tall weeds.
The area is between homes and ponds and off any type of path, paved or not.
Hutton said Novakovic’s medical condition may have led him to wander off course.
Foul play is not suspected, he said.
The Times last week reported the search had been called off last Monday. Hutton this week clarified comments he had made last week. The sheriff’s office had not called off its search, he said. Deputies in fact looked for Novakovic each day until he was found.
Community members took the search upon themselves and ultimately came through. One of the members of the group that found the body is in the Minnesota Law Enforcement Explorer Association, a group designed for youth interested in law enforcement careers.
The Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office on Monday confirmed that the body found was that of Novakovic. The results of toxicology results are not yet available.