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Dead body is that of missing Copake man

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COPAKE—The dead body found in a wooded area at the edge of a field off Main Street in the hamlet the morning of Saturday, March 20 has been positively identified as John D. Picarello, 22, of Copake.  
Columbia County Sheriff David Harrison said in a press release that Mr. Picarello’s death did not involve foul play and that he may have died as a result of an intentional overdose of prescription medication. An official cause of death will not be determined until the results of toxicology reports are in.  
Mr. Picarello had been missing since December 1, 2009. He was reported missing by his father and was last seen at the Copake Pharmacy at about 2:30 in the afternoon that day. The pharmacy is located several hundred yards from where the body was found.
The body was discovered between the backyards of houses along Main Street and the Copake Cemetery, which is situated along side and behind the Copake United Methodist Church on Church Street.
People often walk their dogs in the area around the perimeter of the cemetery and youngsters were recently seen flying a kite in the area where the remains were found.
Sheriff’s Office investigator’s, crime scene technicians and Coroner Dr. George Davis examined and processed the area where the body was found for several hours Saturday.
An autopsy was performed at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany by Pathologist Jeffrey Hubbard, MD the following day.
The positive identification was made from personal and other items recovered at the scene, information provided by Livingston State Police who were investigating Mr. Picarello’s disappearance, interviews conducted by investigators and the examination conducted at the autopsy.
The missing person notice put out by State Police in early January stated that Mr. Picarello was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black pants and sneakers when he was last seen.
Investigating in addition to Coroner Davis were Captain David Bartlett, Senior Investigator Kevin Skype, Investigator Mark Dunspaugh and Deputies Jeffrey Hofstetter and Brian Molinski.  Evidence technicians, DeputiesTodd Hyson, Donald Krapf and William Dunspaugh processed the scene.
To contact Diane Valden email dvalden@ColumbiaPaper.com

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