Missing Mass. man’s car found abandoned in parking lot in NH’s White Mountains, officials say

CARROLL, Mass. — A car that belongs to a missing Massachusetts man who may have vanished while hiking was recently found abandoned in a parking lot near a trail in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, authorities said.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department says it was notified on Sunday of a possible missing person whose vehicle was found parked at the Crawford Path parking lot in Carroll.

A subsequent investigation conducted by a U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer revealed that the vehicle’s owner, 65-year-old William Neal Donovan, of Cambridge, had been “unaccounted for and not seen for about two weeks,” according to Fish and Game.

“Donovan appears to be an avid hiker, but a search of his vehicle revealed several pieces of hiking gear that would have been beneficial if he was planning a hike in the White Mountains,” Fish and Game officials wrote in a news release. “It is assumed he went for a hike but this has not yet been confirmed.”

No evidence or clues of Donovan’s whereabouts were detected during a search of the Crawford Path Trailhead and around the drainages and trails including Crawford Path, Edmands Path, Mt. Eisenhower, Mt. Pierce, and the ridgeline connecting them.

“There is still several feet of deep snow in the higher elevations which hampered search efforts at the higher elevations,” Fish and Game officials noted.

Investigators believe that Donovan likely arrived at Crawford Path on April 16 and a search of his Cambridge home revealed a handwritten note indicating his desire to possibly hike Mt. Jefferson and Mt. Adams, according to Cambridge police.

“At this time there is little to no information known regarding Donovan’s history, capabilities, gear, or intention. Donovan lives alone and did not leave an itinerary of what his plans consist of,” Fish and Game stated. “Because he has been unaccounted for 2 weeks all immediate search activities have been postponed until further information comes forth to indicate where he might have traveled.”

The area between the Crawford Path parking lot and the summit of Mt. Adams is huge and vast with several hiking trails and miles of dense forest.

Anyone with information on Donovan’s whereabouts is urged to contact New Hampshire State Police Troop F at 603-846-3333, or email Lieutenant Mark Ober at mark.w.oberjr@wildlife.nh.gov.

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