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Unidentified hiker found dead in Florida could be a Brooklynite, witness claims

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A hiker who died under mysterious circumstances in Florida last summer may have been a Brooklyn resident, according to a Sunshine State woman trying to locate his family.

“Two different hikers, who weren’t talking to each other, mentioned separately that he lived in Brooklyn,” said Kelly Fairbanks, a trail angel who assists travelers on the Florida National Scenic Trail.

The hiker, whose name is unknown and is generally referred to by his trail names “Denim” and “Mostly Harmless,” died last July on a trail near the Nobels Camp Site in the Big Cyprus National Preserve, amid an epic cross-country walk to Key West, according to Fairbanks.

The angel met and photographed the late traveler on another Florida trail roughly one month before he passed, she said.

Two other hikers found Mostly Harmless dead inside his tent, according to Fairbanks, and the wanderers discovered his emaciated body about two days after he died, according to information released by the out-of-state officials with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.

“They were doing a day hike, found the camp site, and wanted to take a rest,” Fairbanks said of the hikers who allegedly discovered Mostly Harmless’s body. “They kept hollering out, but nobody answered, and there were shoes outside, so they assumed he was there. Then one of them peeked in the tent, and that’s how they found him.”

Local investigators believe Mostly Harmless had ties to both Louisiana and New York State, and police with the Florida sheriff’s office in August disseminated posters to New York City media outlets hoping to find anyone who knew the hiker.

Sunshine State investigators are still waiting for the local medical examiner to determine the hiker’s cause of death, but detectives believe he may have died of starvation, or succumbed to a pre-existing, fatal condition that compelled him to embark on the interstate trek, according to a podcast the Collier County Sheriff’s Office released earlier this month.

But there are mitigating facts that undermine those theories, including an abundance of food sources near Mostly Harmless’s place of death, and the testimony of fellow hikers he met on his journey, including Fairbanks, who said the deceased spoke optimistically of his plans for the future, such as his intention to settle in Key West.

“He sounded like he had plans,” she said.

Anyone with information regarding Mostly Harmless should call the Collier County Sheriff’s Office at (239) 774—4434.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 2:21 pm, February 27, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

I don't believe it says:
Sounds like a cover-up by the authorities - what (or who) really killed this "man"?
Feb. 28, 8:12 am
MJ ocala from Florida says:
The autopsy dr. said it was starvation, which is easy to believe because he weighed 83 pounds when they found his body...and yes, they add in weight for the number of days he was predicted to be dead. Starvation sure, but what caused him to not be able to eat? His having a pre- condition is only speculation. Those of us who knew him thought he looked pretty healthy...he did hike from PA to tip of FL. But he was slow as hikers go, only about 10 miles, or fewer, a day, while healthy hikers usually do 15 to 20. He told me he had some kind of knee or leg problem. He wore a knee brace when I say him in VA. He told me he had worked for ten years in NY as a tecky person. I assumed computers. Pretty sure he said Brooklyn. He was working on a game or programming in his notebook they said. So if anyone knows a programmer in Broklyn who left Brooklyn around summer in 2017, please post here. He was really a nice guy with a wry sense of humor. Here is my FB page: mjocala. I'll post his photo if I can here. He said his name as Ben Bilimy, but we think that was a made up name. Maybe Ben. Maybe not..
Feb. 28, 12:51 pm
MJ ocala from Florida says:
Will try later to post a photo. Meanwhile if you post on my FB page requesting his photo, I will post several there. Thanks! We know he must have people missing him somewhere! by the way, I don't think he was killed...he had lots of money untouched, and no sign of foul play. Drank bad water? Made him too weak to go for food? That's just a guess. I am a hiker on the AT also.
Feb. 28, 12:57 pm
Ken from Greenpoint says:
Too bad it wasn't that loser, Henry Ford.
Feb. 28, 7:24 pm

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