The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office says a Kirkwood man who went missing during the SNIRT run in Lewis County over the weekend has been found dead.

72-year-old Fred Moat was last seen around 11:00 Saturday morning riding his ATV near the Montague Inn in Montague while participating in the 17th annual SNIRT run on Saturday, April 9, 2022.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office began the search for Moat at around 9:15 Saturday night.

Members of the Sheriff’s Office and New York State Forest Rangers continued the search into the early hours of Sunday morning.

A coordinated search effort began at daylight on Sunday, with multiple fire departments assisting in the search

Members of the Martinsburg Fire Department located Moat’s 2020 Polaris ATV off of the side of Salmon River Road in Montague. Moat was later found dead in a heavily wooded area.

The Sheriff's Office says Moat had suffered from dementia but a cause of death has not been released.

The Lewis County Sheriff's Office is extending its appreciation to the numerous volunteers who responded from within and outside Lewis County to assist in the search for Moat.

The SNIRT run is the annual kick-off to the ATV spring riding season, with more than 6,000 people taking part in this year's event.

"SNIRT" refers to dirty snow, and the SNIRT run is an ATV and UTV road only event.  The SNIRT Run is organized by the Barnes Corners Sno-Pals, headquartered in Barnes Corners, New York,  The group maintains more than one hundred miles of snowmobile trails in Lewis and Jefferson counties.

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