Body found could be missing La Grange man

A missing La Grange man is believed to have been found dead near his truck in south Tuolumne County, authorities announced Thursday.

Foul play is not suspected.

Roy Ward Watson, 43, left home July 16 to camp and cut wood, Tuolumne County sheriff's Lt. Dan Bressler said.

Watson left at 3 p.m. to cut firewood in the Soapstone Ridge area of Mariposa County, officials said. He was not heard from again, Bressler said.

Watson's wife told officials it was common for him to visit areas around Coulterville, Greeley Hill, Rainbow Pool and Cherry Lake.

A missing person report was filed Saturday with the Mariposa County Sheriff's Department. A search, which included surveillance from airplanes and a helicopter, began that afternoon.

Authorities reported that Watson had multiple sclerosis and took medication to control his condition. Without the medication, they said, Watson could have had trouble walking and become disoriented.

On Tuesday, Tuolumne County sheriff's deputy Dan Crow found Watson's white 1997 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup near Hardin Flat and Golden Arrow roads, south of Highway 120 and just west of Yosemite National Park.

Crow found what appears to be Watson's body nearby. Detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death.

The body has been tentatively identified as Watson's, Bressler said, but officials will use dental records for confirmation.

Bee staff writer Emilie Raguso can be reached at eraguso@modbee.com or 578-2235.