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Remains Found At Great Smoky Mountains National Park Belonged To Missing Tennessee Man


Remains found last month in Great Smoky Mountains National Park have been identified as those of a Tennessee man who went missing in the park back in March.

Park officials said Thursday that the remains discovered on August 21 off a walkway located along the Newfound Gap Road about a mile from the Sugarlands Visitor Center are those of Michael Giovanni Cocchini. The Nashville man was last seen by friends at the Walmart in Sevierville on March 18.

Investigators worked with the Sevier County Medical Examiner’s Office, Knoxville Regional Forensic Center, and the Knox County Sheriffs Forensic Unit to make the official identification through dental records.

While a park release said investigators have no way of determining an exact cause of death, "evidence found at the scene indicates that Cocchini had intentions of taking his own life. Foul play is not suspected."


I am curious as to why he wasn't found during the initial search. I know that the forest is very dense, but I've read that his body was found within 3/10 of a mile of the trail. What am I missing here?

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