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Remains believed to be of photographer Peter Beard, police say

Photographer Peter Beard was reportedly last seen near

Photographer Peter Beard was reportedly last seen near his Montauk home.  Credit: John Roca

The remains of an elderly man matching the description of missing photographer Peter Beard were discovered in Montauk Sunday, police said.

A hunter found a piece of clothing in Camp Hero State Park about 9 a.m. Sunday and noticed it was consistent with the description of the missing Beard, according to East Hampton Town police. The 82-year-old, who has dementia, has been missing since March 31 and was last seen near his Montauk home wearing a blue fleece pullover, black jogging pants and blue sneakers. He is 5-foot-10, 176 pounds with gray hair.

Detectives were called to the scene and searched the area near where the clothing was found. The remains were discovered in a densely wooded area and were taken to the Suffolk County medical examiner’s office where they will be identified, police said.

Beard was reported missing by his wife Nejma Khanum nearly three weeks ago, police said. It was not uncommon for Beard to wander off in recent years, and he was often walked back home by neighbors, police said.

A group of 50 to 75 searchers from multiple police agencies and fire departments using quads, helicopters, K-9 units and drones had scoured Montauk in the days after his disappearance.

Beard rose to prominence as an African wildlife photographer in the 1960s and throughout his career has collaborated with artists such as Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon and Salvador Dali. His most recent exhibition was in 2016 at the Guild Hall Museum in East Hampton.

The investigation continues, and anyone with information is asked to call East Hampton police at 631-537-7575 or to call 911.

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