Top Stories 2012: Ridgefield Mourns Runner David Riek

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David Riek, 44, of Ridgefield was found dead on the side of a running trail in the early afternoon of Sept. 10 by one of the hundreds of volunteers who went out to search for him. Photo Credit: Contributed, stock

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. – As the end of 2012 comes into view, The Ridgefield Daily Voice is taking a look back at some of the year's biggest stories.

The search for Ridgefield resident David Riek, 44, began the morning of Saturday, Sept. 8, after his wife reported that he failed to return from his early morning run. Search parties spent the day canvassing the area near his home near Florida Road.

What started with a search party of 35 volunteers and 25 emergency personnel, ended with nearly 600 civilian volunteers on Sunday taking to the running trails and walking the roads looking for Riek. By 9 a.m. Sunday, 200 people had already arrived at Branchville Elementary School, where emergency personnel had set up a staging area.

Friends came from as far as Atlanta and from Albany, Virginia, Rochester and Long Island. One friend said it was something best friends would do. Locals who didn’t know Riek also showed up to help search for him. The human searchers were joined by 12 police canine units. The Urban Search and Response Team from the state was also sent to assist.

Ultimately, his body was found at 1:30 p.m. by a volunteer group who found him hidden on the side of a running trail.

On Monday Sept. 10, the Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner declared his death a suicide by a self-inflicted cut to the neck.

Riek is survived by his wife Naomi Collinge Riek; his children, Benjamin, Charley and Natasha; his parents, Justus and Mary Ellen Riek; and his sister, Jennifer Riek.

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