Body found in missing man's burned vehicle

Posted at: 11/20/2012 11:51 AM
Updated at: 11/21/2012 9:30 AM
By: John McLoughlin

NASSAU -Sheriff's deputies now confirm that the burned-out pickup truck with a body inside discovered by hunters this morning is the vehicle of a young Rensselaer County man who's been missing for eight days.

The body is burned so badly that police are reluctant to identify it officially as the remains of 28-year old Ryan Patton, who was last seen leaving a couple of taverns and a gas station  in Averill park.

 Unofficially, they believe it is indeed Ryan Patton.

The truck used to be a maroon-colored Chevrolet pickup, and now, it is nothing but a burned-out shell that had to be dragged out of the woods, after the body was removed

Hunter Keaven Green says "I did not even know this guy was missing until we found him

Keaven Green and another hunter spotted the truck just before 9 a.m.

The truck was more than a quarter of a mile into the woods, just off an old logging trail, where it evidently had missed a  bridge over a small stream, smashing into a stone wall, where it then burned.

Keaven green says: "At first I did not recognize the body it was so badly burned, it was charred mess and then I said to him "that's a body'."

Police sources tell NewsChannel13 they have video of Ryan Patton on the night of Nov. 12 after he left the Lakeview Inn in Averill Park in a highly intoxicated condition, according to police.

The truck was found about nine miles away in Nassau, at the end of a dead end road off Route 66 with only three homes on the road.

Neighbor, Mike Romeling says "It's kind of startling, we saw the poster down at the store saying he was missing and we kind of thought it was him.."

Unofficially, police are telling NewsChannel13 there was no evidence of foul play or suicide, no weapons or alcohol in the truck and no clue on why anyone would drive a truck into these woods.

Keaven says "The bucks are chasing the does up there and now we have this mess. Now that may sound insensitive, but it is what it is."

An autopsy will be performed Wednesday morning, using dental records to identify the body. Meanwhile, NewsChannel13’s John McLoughlin ran into a young woman in Averill Park who identified herself as Jennifer Gardner.

The woman said she was Ryan Patton's former girlfriend, said they lived together until recently.  I asked if he had been despondent over the breakup and she said no, he was still very "happy go lucky," as she described him.