NORTH ELBA, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A hiker who had been missing in the woods for over a week was found dead early Friday morning in the Adirondack High Peaks. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced Friday afternoon that they’d found the body of Thomas Howard, 63, of Westport, Connecticut, around 10:30 a.m. Friday.

According to state officials, Howard signed into a trail registry at the Adirondack Loj Friday, March 11, stating that his destination was Mount Colden via the Trap Dike and that he planned to return by Sunday. The Trap Dike is a steep rock slide that would be difficult to traverse in any weather conditions, especially in winter weather.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for Friday, March 11 through Sunday, March 13. That weekend, Lake Placid reported just under 15 inches of snow, which buried the high peaks.

On Wednesday, March 16, Howard was reported missing after he had not yet returned from his trek. Five days after he set out from the Adirondack Loj, Forest Rangers led a search in the area with the help of the New York State Police Aviation helicopter.

In a statement, state officials said, “The Howard family wishes to express their gratitude to the community and the searchers for their support. The family asks for privacy as they grieve the loss of their loved one.”