LORAIN, Ohio - A tragic ending, in the search for a missing man with mental illness in Northeast Ohio after a hiker stumbled upon the man’s remains around 10:30 a.m. Thursday.
26-year-old Aaron Zimmerman of Lorain was last seen November 14, 2014 before he was scheduled to work in food service at a nearby college.
His family was extremely worried because Aaron diagnosed with schizophrenia and needed his medication.
Multiple law enforcement agencies and dozens of volunteers began searching for Aaron and passing out thousands of flyers.
“I just felt I needed to go out and search from the bottom of my heart,” said volunteer Mark Kniceley.
Pastor Angel Arroyo says they especially focused on the large wooded areas across Lorain County.
“He loved Mother Nature," said Pastor Arroyo, “It was a sense of peace for him, whatever situation he was in, it brought him peace.”
Thursday morning, a man walking through the thick wooded terrain south of Packard drive in Lorain county, west of the Black River Reservation found a body investigators say is thought to be Aaron Zimmerman.
Volunteers were stunned and saddened by the news; especially since they had searched that area multiple times.
“Like a punch in the stomach,” said Arroyo,.
But Arroyo said it is better because his mother, Rhonda Zimmerman afterward said she felt at peace. She said her son is in a better place and she'll be with him again one day.
The Lorain County Sheriff’s department is investigating and the Lorain County Coroner’s Office is performing tests to determine a cause of death.
The family’s place of worship, 'The Church on the Northcoast' has helped set up a fund to help Aaron Zimmerman’s parents give him a proper burial.
Donations can be made at any First Merit Bank in his name.