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Body found in Harlan County identified

By: Rebekah Pewitt Email
By: Rebekah Pewitt Email
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UPDATED: 5/17/2013 @ 6:03pm
BLEDSOE, Ky. (WYMT) - Officials in Harlan County say a body found in the Bledsoe community is that of 41-year-old Forester Bowling Junior.

Bowling went missing one week ago Thursday.

His wife told us he left his house at around 4:30 in the morning to go look for a job and she never heard from him again.

Officials do not suspect foul play in his death.
BLEDSOE, Ky. (WYMT) -- Harlan County Deputy Coroner James Rich has confirmed that body found in the Bledsoe Community on Thursday is identified as 41-year-old Forester Bowling Junior, who was reported missing last week.

No foul play is suspected.
BLEDSOE, Ky. (WYMT) - Several teams searched Wednesday night and most of Thursday, until crews found a body in the woods of the Bledsoe community in Harlan County.

The search was for 41-year-old Forester Bowling Junior, who was reported missing last week.

His wife told us in a previous interview that he said he was going job hunting, and on Thursday family members faced the reality that they may never see him again.

For friends and family members of Bowling, their search began days ago.

“We'd been out looking for the past 3 or 4 days from daylight to dark covering every place we normally hunt together,” said friend of Bowling, Paul Curry.

Curry found Bowling’s truck Wednesday night.

“It tore me up. We had to go to the head of the holler to call state police, and I got them to bring me back down, and I took off walking up the mountain looking for him and hollering for him,” said Curry.

But friends and family became even more upset when a body was found in the area they say he was last seen.

Even though officials do not have a positive identification, family members say they are certain it is him.

“We were given indication that he might be farther up in the mountains because he's a snake hunter so we were up in that area and were working back toward this way,” said Harlan County Emergency Management Director David McGill.

Officials say they found the body nearly half a mile from Bowling's truck, which was less than a mile from highway 2009.

“We wish there would have been a better outcome, and wish there was something we could have done more. We hope the family can get some closure from this,” said McGill.

Police say they are still investigating exactly what happened to Bowling, but family members know their search is over.

The body was sent to Frankfort for an autopsy to determine cause of death and identification.
UPDATED: May 15th, 2013 @ 6pm
BAXTER, Ky. (WYMT) - His wife says it started as a typical morning with a kiss on the forehead.

However, since that last kiss her husband has not been heard from for nearly one week.

Forester Bowling Junior's family now wonders if a trip into the woods went horribly wrong.
Amy Bowling says last Thursday started as a normal day. Her husband Forester Bowling, known as Junior, left their home in Baxter at 4:30 in the morning.

“He woke me up and kissed me on my forehead and said I love you. I said I love you too and see you later,” Amy Bowling said.

But she has not seen him since then.

“It's not like him to go this long,” said Amy.

She said he was going job hunting. He recently lost his coal mining job.

The family says a cell phone trace shows his phone was between highways 119 and 221 in Harlan County on Friday.

“That's his peaceful place. He loved mountains,” said Amy.

Bobbie Bowling says her son calls her everyday even when he's in the woods. She has not heard from him in one week.

“Horrible, just about more than you can bear,” Forester’s mother Bobbie Bowling said.

She lost one son to illness last year and is now worried something has happened to another son. She wants to find him soon, “More than I want to live!”

Police have a missing person case for Bowling.

Anyone with information should call state police in Harlan.

They hope the community can help find him.

Forester Bowling, known as Junior, was last seen driving his black Chevrolet S-10 pick-up truck with Friends of Coal tags on Kentucky 840.

BAXTER, Ky. (WYMT) - Kentucky State Police need your help finding a missing man.

Officials tell us 41-year-old Forester Bowling Junior went missing last Thursday at around 4:30am in the Baxter community.

Officials say he left his home in Harlan County driving a black S-10 4x4 pick-up truck.

If you have any information into Bowlings whereabouts you are asked to call Kentucky State Police at (606) 573-3131.

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