Man searching for deer antlers finds remains of missing MMA fighter, Missouri cops say

A man was searching for deer antlers in a wooded area of Missouri when he came across human remains.

The remains, found on Dec. 22, were sent to a forensic odonatologist who confirmed they were of David Koenig, according to a Monday, Dec. 27 news release from the Branson Police Department.

Koenig, of Branson, was an amateur mixed martial arts fighter, according to local media sites, including the Springfield News-Leader. Family says he was last seen in February 2020, and he was believed to be staying at a Branson motel.

The investigation into his disappearance began in March 2020, police said, and multiple searches were conducted by several area agencies.

“Our department and the amazing group of volunteers never stopped in our efforts to find Mr. Koenig,” said Branson Police Chief Jeff Matthews. “While this is not the ending we hoped for, we offer our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Koenig.”

Police say a forensic pathologist determined Koenig’s death does not appear to be of foul play, and no evidence of trauma was found. His cause of death was not released.

Following the discovery of his remains near the 3700 block of Fall Creek Rd., police say a “meticulous search of the area” was completed. Most of his remains and several “personal articles” were recovered.

On a Facebook page named, “David Koenig Search Party,” a post requested privacy for the family.

“We are in pain,” the post says. “We need time and we need some peace right now. Please and thank you for your prayers.”

Branson is in the Missouri Ozarks Region, near the southwest border of the state.

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