Authorities: Body discovered in Sabine National Forest believed to be missing man

SHELBY COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Two hunters have discovered a body in the Sabine National Forest. Authorities believe they have identified the body as the man that went missing nearly a month ago in Shelby County.

David Earl Ross, 75, was reported missing November 27, 2011 around 5:00 p.m. when he left his home in the Ragtown area in Shelby County.

Wednesday around 11:15 a.m. two high school-aged hunters from Carthage called authorities to report a man in a car that was not moving near the Ragtown and Patroon communities, close to Toledo Bend in the southeastern part of the county, according to Captain Mike Tollett with the Shelby County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators say the man appeared to be dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Tollett said a firearm was found in the vehicle. However, authorities cannot positively identify the man as Ross or say for certain that it was a suicide until the autopsy report is returned. Officers suspect the man has been dead for about a month.

"We're thankful that [the hunters] took time to call," Tollett said.

Deputies said the man's clothing, vehicle, and license plate number all matched the description given to them by Ross' family members. The body was found about five miles from where Ross lived and was last seen. He had left his house without his wallet or medication and did not tell family members he was leaving or where he was going.

His next of kin has been notified.

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