Body ‘believed to be’ that of missing Franklin man found in woods, police say

FRANKLIN, MA (WHDH) - A body “believed to be” that of a missing Franklin man has been found after an extensive, weeklong search that spanned two towns.

Two civilians searching in dense woods and thick underbrush along Route 495 near exit 17 located a white male’s body around 2:30 p.m on Saturday, police said.

Police believe the body is that of Michael Doherty, 20, who was reported missing on May 14. Doherty’s parents said he never returned home after a party on Phyllis Lane the night before. Friends told police that he left the party in the early morning hours to walk home.

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State and local police officers, along with dozens of volunteers, spent six days searching through heavily-wooded areas, water ways and elevated terrains in Franklin and Bellingham.

Doherty was a student and hockey player at Duke University. His parents said he had just returned home for summer vacation and that he had plans to work at a local grocery store.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner was notified of the grim discovery. Police said an identity confirmation won’t be available until an autopsy is performed.

“The thoughts and prayers of all the members of the Franklin Police Department and all of the other agencies that participated in searching for Michael go out to the Doherty family in this time of great tragedy,” authorities said in a press release.

More than 30 people from the party where Doherty was last seen have been interviewed by detectives.

Doherty’s disappearance is under investigation. Police said there is in no evidence of foul play at this time.

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