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Remains of missing MMA fighter found in Missouri woods

The discovered human remains were identified as those of missing amateur mixed martial arts fighter David Koenig.

David Koenig

A man searching for deer antlers in the woods of Missouri discovered the remains of an MMA fighter missing since 2020.

According to local police, the remains were found Dec. 22 in the Ozarks region. The man who discovered the remains informed the Branson Police Department, who then confirmed that the remains were human and conducted a search of the area.

The remains were then examined by a forensic odontologist, who identified the victim as MMA fighter David Koenig, the subject of a missing person investigation that began in March 2020.

According to the Branson Police Department news release, the examination of the remains conducted by a forensic pathologist “determined that there was no trauma and that the death did not appear to be the result of foul play.” However, the circumstances surrounding Koenig’s death remain unclear.

In July 2020—four months after reporting him missing to Branson police—his mother, Tracey Koeing, told “Dateline NBC” that she believes her son might have been in trouble and that he had “messaged a few of his friends asking for help” before vanishing.

“He’s just not someone who would disappear. And he’s not a guy that someone could just take down,” Tracy Koenig told “Dateline.” “He’s a force to be reckoned with. He’s a big, strong guy — but also with a big personality and big heart. He would do anything to protect his family.”