The search for Edward Cavanaugh, a San Francisco teacher and Long Island native who vanished more than two weeks ago in the El Dorado National Forest, has led to the discovery of a body Tuesday near a motorcycle matching the description of the one ridden by the missing man.
The El Dorado County Sheriff's Office said the remains have not been positively identified. In a statement on the sheriff's office website, Cavanaugh's family thanked "every single individual who has worked so hard to bring Ed home . . . We hope all who love Ed find comfort in knowing that his bright spirit is with us during this heartbreaking time."
Cavanaugh's family could not be reached for comment Wednesday.StoryTeacher missing in nat'l forest from LI
Search and rescue teams, including searchers from the California National Guard, had been looking for Cavanaugh in the forest outside of Lake Tahoe since July 24. Authorities used ground crews, including K-9 units, high-angle rope and mounted teams, crews in four-wheel drive vehicles and on motorcycles, as well as search aircraft and even a drone to look for Cavanaugh.
The 45-year-old former Ronkonkoma resident was last seen riding his blue Yamaha YZ250 motorcycle in the Rock Creek trail system on July 17, authorities said. Officials said last week that foul play was not suspected.
On Tuesday, the sheriff's office posted a statement on its website saying that at about 11:20 a.m. a caller had reported Cavanaugh's body "may have been found." The statement identified that caller only as "a member of the family's search effort" and said a motorcycle matching the description of Cavanaugh's Yamaha had been located near the body of "a deceased person."
The location, authorities said, was off the established trail system in what was described as "rugged brush filled terrain."
The sheriff's office did not return calls Wednesday.
Cavanaugh was a diabetic and his family said, from the outset, they were concerned he would run out of insulin, water and food if not found quickly.
The cause of death has not been determined, the sheriff's office said on its website, and the coroner's office will continue the investigation.
During the search, the Cavanaugh family raised more than $60,000 toward the search effort and, according to online postings. Debbie Cavanaugh Schultz, the missing man's sister, said at least one airline donated tickets for searchers to travel to California from New York.