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Discovered body believed to be missing motorcyclist

WILLISTON, N.D.--The body of a man found in Montana on Friday afternoon is believed to be that of a Williams County motorcyclist reported missing nearly two months ago.

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WILLISTON, N.D.-The body of a man found in Montana on Friday afternoon is believed to be that of a Williams County motorcyclist reported missing nearly two months ago.

Zackary Baldwin's motorcycle, wallet, and identification, were discovered along with the body adjacent to U.S. Highway 2 near Bainville, Mont., according to the Williams County Sheriff's Office.

"Presumptively and preliminarily it is believed to be Zackary Baldwin at this time," said Capt. Verlan Kvande on Saturday morning. Clothing and a helmet found at the scene match the description of what Baldwin was wearing when he left his home in late June for a short motorcycle ride.

Baldwin's wife, Jessica Baldwin, got the news from deputies Friday afternoon, said Baldwin's sister, Krysten Byrd.

The discovery was a devastating confirmation of an ending that the family had suspected ever since the father of three disappeared.

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"My brother's wife and I felt strongly the whole time that something had happened, that he had crashed," Byrd said. "Some people had ideas that maybe he had left, or taken off somewhere, we just kind of knew the whole time he would never do something like that. As much as we wanted to hope that it would have a different outcome, we just knew."

Baldwin, 30, rode away from his home west of Williston the evening of June 26 after telling his wife he'd be gone for about half an hour. He never returned, and was reported missing the next day. Local and regional law enforcement conducted ground, aerial and underwater searches before a search and rescue group from Minneapolis arrived to coordinate volunteer efforts. United Legacy organized extensive searches on foot, horseback and ATV, but turned up no sign of Baldwin. Last week, a drone operator canvassed hundreds of miles of terrain surrounding Baldwin's home, but was met with the same result.

A determination on how long ago Baldwin died will be up to the coroner's office in Montana.

"I don't know exactly how long (he'd been dead)," Kvande said. "We don't have a lot of information right now, we're just wanting on word from Montana."

According to news reports, highway workers found the body in Roosevelt County near the North Dakota border about 1:30 p.m.

The Montana Highway Patrol told a news station in Montana that the motorcyclist was eastbound on a lightly traveled stretch of Highway 2 when he ran off the road.

The agency could not be reached Saturday for comment, and calls to Roosevelt County officials were not immediately returned.

Related Topics: ACCIDENTSNORTH DAKOTA
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