Man found dead near Halcottsville after police search from air, ground

By Brian Sweeney
A 41-year-old Michigan man was found dead Friday afternoon near Halcottsville, following a search by New York State Troopers and Roxbury Police Officer Steve Williamson.
The victim was identified as Paul Andrew Van Zile of Newaygo, MI. His body was discovered early Friday afternoon by a search team that included a state police helicopter. The victim’s body was found near Mager Road, off Bragg Hollow, following a two-and-a-half-hour search.
State Police Investigator Alan Ferrara of the Margaretville barracks said an autopsy determined that Van Zile died of an accidental overdose of prescription drugs.
The autopsy was performed by Dr. Robin Eastman-Abaya at Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton. The autopsy revealed that Van Zile had been dead for several days.
Investigator Ferrara said police were notified on Monday that Van Zile was missing. He had been visiting friends in the area since Saturday.
Upon receiving the missing person notification, police initially began seeking information from Van Zile’s local friends and relatives, as well as in New Jersey, Long Island and Michigan.
When Van Zile missed a court appointment in Michigan on Friday, the search in the local area was intensified. Utilizing a helicopter to aid in the search, police discovered Van Zile’s body after only several hours of searching.
Investigator Ferrara said that Van Zile’s body was discovered in an open area, resulting in the relatively short search time. There was no indication of foul play in Van Zile’s death, he said. The investigation of the incident is ongoing.