At approximately 2:30 pm on Friday the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a United States Forest Service employee who had previously received the missing person flyer on Ethan from the Sheriff’s Office. According to the caller he found Ethan’s vehicle as described in the flyer off of Forest Service Road 75 which is located north of Pittman Valley off of Interstate 40.
On duty Deputies from both the Flagstaff and Williams patrol divisions responded to the area and began a ground search. Within a short period of time Deputies located the body of Ethan Depler on a wooded knoll approximately 100 to 150 yards west of where his vehicle was parked.
Ethan’s body was removed to the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office. Detectives and Medical Examiner’s Death Investigators are considering the possibility that Ethan died as the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.