A missing man from North Carolina died as the result of a snowmobile-related incident.

Maine Warden Service Corporal John MacDonald says 55-year-old Willard Hartsock of Old Fort, North Carolina was found near Rockwood. He'd been staying at a rental property on Lake Street in the town and had recently purchased a new 2017 Ski-Doo snowmobile. Witnesses say they had seen him riding in the area recently.

Hartsock's family notified police at around 9:00 last evening when he failed to return from a snowmobile trip as planned. A Game Warden and Sheriff's Deputy went to the house on Lake Street and discovered the man's vehicle, snowmobile trailer, and belongings, but there was no snowmobile in sight. Searchers headed out late last evening, and finally located Hartsock's body at around 1:00 Wednesday morning along a portion of ITS 88 in Taunton & Raynham Academy Grant.

An initial inspection of the scene suggests that he had approached a wet area on the snowmobile trail, stopped, and placed the sled in reverse. While in reverse, it appears the machine rolled onto Hartsock. Game Wardens say there has been very little snow in the Rockwood region and the trails have seen very little use, so far this season.

The incident remains under investigation.

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