Remains found near Kennesaw Mountain identified as missing hiker

Skeletal remains found on top of Kennesaw Mountain

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Officials said skeletal remains found Monday near Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park have been identified as belonging to a missing hiker.

David Blake, 25, disappeared March 9. Officials confirmed Wednesday night the remains are Blake's. Cobb County police said earlier in the day, the remains were found on top of the mountain, but they later said they were located on Stilesboro Road, a good distance from one of the park's trails.

Police worked with U.S. Park Rangers to find and collect the remains Wednesday after a hiker discovered them on Monday.

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Police searched the same area for Blake seven months ago. They found the Marietta man's car in the parking lot near an overflow lot off of Old Highway 41 near the park. Blake's keys were sitting in a cup holder.

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Earlier in the day Tuesday, Channel 2's Chris Jose was in Kennesaw and reached out to Blake's mother, Neill, who broke down on the phone and told him she's not ready to talk.

Police said family members have been notified.

In March, Channel 2's Steve Gehlbach talked to Blake's family, who said he was an avid outdoorsman and was very familiar with the park and its trails. Police found his hiking bag in the car.

His mother said then that she was the last person to talk to him.

"We always hug and always say 'I love you. Have a good day tomorrow.' And that’s how it was," Neill Blake said.

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park is just under 3,000 acres. Police had to hike through steep, rugged terrain to find the remains.They said investigators were walking toward an area near "Little Kennesaw."

Hikers at the park wondered what happened.

"It makes me wonder if it was just an accident," Danielle Burgess said. "Maybe he fell."