Missing photographer Peter Beard found dead in forest

Missing photographer Peter Beard found dead in forest
Peter Beard attends 2013 Gordon Parks Foundation Awards at The Plaza Hotel on June 4, 2013 in New York City.(Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)

Nearly three weeks after his disappearance from his home in Montauk, authorities believe that they have found the body of famed wildlife photographer Peter Beard. If true, the artist who earned global success and plenty of famous friends for his photos of Africa over a career that spanned decades has died at 82 years old.

A statement from the East Hampton Town Police on Sunday said that authorities had located “the remains of an elderly male consistent with the physical and clothing description of Mr. Beard.” The body, which was discovered in Camp Hero State Park in Montauk, is still awaiting identification.

Beard, who was last seen on his property by his wife on March 31 suffered from dementia and had had at least one stroke. In searching for him, authorities pulled out all the stops, enlisting 75 police and fire officials in addition to relatives, friends, helicopters, drones and dogs. Ultimately, however, the thick woods of Montauk were seemingly too much to conquer.

An adventurous New Yorker drawn to danger, Beard leaves behind an extensive body of work that’s been widely shown since the 1970s, with his celebrity bolstered by an association with icons like Andy Warhol, Truman Capote and Salvador Dali. In October 2017, a print collage of orphaned cheetah cubs in Kenya, sold at an auction for $672,500.