BRANSON, Mo.– The body of a person found by hikers on a bluff area north of Main Street at Highway 65 on November 26 in Branson has been identified by authorities

The person has been identified as 22-year-old Tommy Zeigler. Authorities were not able to immediately make a determination on the man’s identity due to the length of outdoor exposure on the remains. Assistant Police Chief Eric Schmitt tells KOLR10 the deceased person had been there at least a month.

The responding officers suspected the body may have been Mr. Zeigler who had been reported as a missing or endangered person since September 22. The police department dedicated over 500 hours of investigation into this incident including several days dedicated to searching areas based on tips provided by the public.

“Our patrol officers and detectives worked diligently to find Mr. Zeigler and we express our condolences to his family for their loss,” stated Police Chief Stan Dobbins. “All our officers truly care about our residents and when our community experiences a loss like this, it hurts,” added Dobbins.

Police say there is no evidence of foul play.

Investigators from the police department are awaiting a cause of death to be determined by the Taney County Coroner.

(edited news release)