PARK HILL – Sheriff’s investigators are awaiting autopsy reports on a local man whose body was found near the entrance to the Cherokee Heritage Center on Christmas Day.

Undersheriff Jason Chennault said Brian VanBuskirk, 23, was found lying on his back in the snow in a field off of Keeler Drive in the Park Hill community. Reports state VanBuskirk lived in the South Breeze mobile home park and left the mobile home around 6 p.m. Christmas Eve to walk to a friend’s home in Tahlequah.

VanBuskirk never returned home.

Chennault’s report states the body was taken to the state medical examiner’s office for an autopsy. There were no visible signs of trauma. Investigators were able to determine a path believed to have been walked by VanBuskirk. He is believed to have fallen and then crawled before stopping where he was found.

Temperatures were well below freezing in the area Thursday night and Friday morning.

No signs of a struggle were found along the route he is believed to have taken.

Deputies found one glove on VanBuskirk. His hands were on his chest. He was wearing a jacket. Chennault was called to the location after deputies determined the man was deceased. Callers notified the sheriff’s office of a man lying in the snow at the location.

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