NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The search for a missing person in Bluewater has ended as the McKinley County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that the individual was discovered deceased. The sheriff’s office reports that on Saturday, Jan. 22, deputies responded to Highway 612 in Bluewater regarding a vehicle that was parked out in a field under unusual circumstances.

Deputies and volunteers searched the area for the vehicle’s owner and after footprints were found, the search party tracked them for about half a mile before the footprints were lost due to the frozen ground. According to MCSO, search activity continued until it became dark and the vehicle’s owner still had not been located.

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The owner was reported by the sheriff’s office as a missing person and the decision was made to resume the search the next day. MCSO reports at 7 a.m. Sunday, deputies along with Bluewater Acres Volunteer Fire, Bluewater Volunteer Fire, Prewitt Volunteer Fire, Thoreau Volunteer Fire, and additional volunteers resumed their search of the area, and around 10 a.m. the owner was discovered to be deceased about three miles from the vehicle.

Authorities state that they believe the owner died the night before the vehicle was reported to law enforcement. At this time, the cause of death is unknown, however, MCSO states there is no suspicion of foul play. The Office of the Medical Investigator will make the final determination.

Authorities state that the owner of the vehicle was known by the party that called law enforcement though their identity is not being released at this time out of respect for the family.