Police: Missing Centereach man found dead in vehicle in wooded area

Posted: Updated:
WEST ISLIP -

A Centereach man who went missing earlier this month was found dead inside of a vehicle in a wooded area of West Islip, police say.

Third Squad detectives say they believe 45-year-old Tom Kelsey was driving his 2015 GMC Yukon northbound on Route 231 in North Babylon when the vehicle left the roadway, crossed a large grass median and crashed into a ravine.

The red SUV was seen being pulled from the wooded area off of Route 231 near the Sunrise Highway service road Thursday night.

Kelsey's body was found inside the vehicle. He was reported missing on July 9 after last being seen at the Katch Restaurant at Venetian Shores Park.

MORE: 'We won't stop looking': Loved ones search for missing Centereach man

Jeff MacGregor says he went to police after he received word that Kelsey hadn't shown up to work.

MacGregor says the last time he spoke to Kelsey, he told him he was going to meet some friends along with a woman he met online.

Last week, Kelsey's friends organized a search party for the missing man.

Steven D'Amico, who has mutual friends with Kelsey, found the car - saying he was "looking for closure."

"It's been going on a long time and everybody's been looking for him," D'Amico told News 12. "It was just my theory that it would be here. And on my way home, I came to just take a look and that's how I found him."

Suffolk police tell News 12 they canvassed and re-canvassed the area and used their aviation unit numerous times. 

Kelsey was pronounced dead at the scene by a physician assistant from the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner.

The cause of death is believed to be non-criminal.

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