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Loneliness likely too much to bear for missing man

January 2, 2013
The man who sheriff's deputies and search and dive rescue members have spent two days looking for up Smith Creek likely died of loneliness, authorities say.

The search for his next of kin has ended; the last living relative they can find, his mother, died two years ago.

Based on notes and letters found in his home, Richard Corday, 66, who had never been married, lost his will to live when his last companion, the dog he loved, was killed in what he believed was a cougar attack.

"By the letters we found, that was the primary reason he decided he had nothing left to live for," said Boundary County Chief Deputy Sheriff Rich Stevens.

Those letters, Stephens said, were addressed to the sheriff's office.

"I think he wanted someone to know why," Stephens said, "and we were the only people he had left to tell."

According to Stephens, Corday apparently walked from his home to Smith Creek Hydro on Sunday, December 30, the date annotated on the most recent letter found.

"He left us letters telling us where he would be found," Stephens said.

While making the morning rounds Monday, A Smith Creek Hydro employee found a fanny pack on the bank, and saw tracks scrabbled to the top of the falls. Deputies found pair of empty shoes at the top.

While Marine 1 remains on the Kootenai River, Stephens said none of the searchers think the body has left Smith Creek, and that's where all attention is focused as the search continues.

"We've slowed our efforts down," Stephens said, "not because we don't want to find him, but because we don't want to put anyone else in danger."

He said that he's aware of all the people who want to help, but he asks for restraint.

"We have the experts, the best trained people available working to find Mr. Corday and bring closure," he said. "We don't want to lose anyone else."
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