Remains of missing amateur MMA fighter jets found by man looking for deer antlers

The skeletal remains were found in the woods last week by a man looking for deer antlers, the Branson Police Department said in a statement.

Investigators from the police and the forensic pathologist found some of his personal belongings while searching the area, and a forensic dentist confirmed that it was Koenig who was 25 when he disappeared.

Koenig was last seen on February 8, 2020 and was reported missing in March.

“We are just crushed,” his mother Tracy Koenig said in a statement to CNN. “And even though Dave has been missing / gone for 22 months, it does not make it any easier. What we are feeling now is just indescribable pain.”

She said she had feared that her son had been killed, but that it was still difficult to learn that he had died alone.

A forensic pathologist found no trauma during an investigation and determined that “the death did not appear to be the result of unfair play,” police said in the statement.

“I hope it helps ease the burden a little bit,” Assistant Police Chief Eric Schmitt told CNN-affiliated KYTV in Springfield.

The Taney County Tax Office told CNN that Koenig’s manner of death is indeterminate and the cause is unknown.

After Koenig was reported missing, Branson police worked with several law enforcement agencies and conducted several searches of properties in Taney and Stone counties in Missouri and across the state border in Boone County, Arkansas, police said in their statement.

Two of these searches included excavations of suspicious areas of disturbed soil.

Koenig’s mother is the administrator of a Facebook group of 14,400 members who have organized searches for her son and shared information about the case.
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Dear, Koenig described as a great man with an even bigger heart.

“It was always a pleasure to train with him. He cared about the group and was always there to listen and support his teammates. Truly a gentle fighter,” said JT Tilley, head coach of the Branson Fight Club.

Koenig’s father Rick runs a martial arts gym in Branson and said he trained his son in the sport all his life. “I mean, since he was a baby, he grew up on the mats,” he said.

He said his son was his best friend.

David was working on becoming a professional fighter. He lost his first fight after injuring his feet in the cage, but then won his next five fights, his father said.

“He was on the right track to do great things,” Rick Koenig said, adding that his son “was a phenomenal man.”

Koenig’s mother said “he lived his life like a rock star” and was everyone’s friend.

“He was the guy you meet once and never forget,” she wrote. “He was an incredible person with so much left to give and I am so incredibly proud to call him my son.”

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