Body found in woods positively identified as missing Franklin man, DA says

FRANKLIN, MA (WHDH) - The state medical examiner has confirmed the remains found Saturday in a wooded area off Route 495 are indeed those of a Duke University student who had been missing in Franklin, Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey said Monday.

Doherty, 20, was last seen leaving a party on Phyllis Lane in the early morning hours of May 14. His disappearance sparked a nearly weeklong search of swampy areas of Franklin and neighboring Bellingham.

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Morrissey said preliminary information from the medical examiner indicates that there were no signs of trauma or foul play in the Franklin native’s death. The cause and manner of Doherty’s death remain undetermined pending additional testing.

“Our first thought is with Michael’s family and friends,” Morrissey said. “To them we extend our sincere condolences. I would be remiss if I did not thank the Franklin Police, regional and state law enforcement and so many in the community for their days and days of sustained searching in difficult terrain. The result was not what we had hoped.”

Police said two civilians searching in thick woods and heavy brush found Doherty Saturday afternoon. His death remains under investigation.

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