A privately operated drone on Saturday found the wreckage of a vehicle that held the body of a missing Montrose County man.

Roger R. Browning, 56, of Redvale, had been missing for more than 24 hours when a person flying a drone spotted the wreckage 800 feet over the side of Norwood Hill, San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters said. Browning’s vehicle had apparently rolled.

His cause and manner of death are pending. Masters said the Colorado State Patrol has informed his agency that it is not investigating the crash as an accident.

Recovery took hours of effort from multiple agencies whose members had to contend with heat, steep, difficult terrain, and even snakes.

With helicopter assistance from the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, deputies, search and rescue volunteers and Norwood Fire were able to recover Browning’s body.

“It was really treacherous. It was a tough operation. It was hot and an incredibly steep canyon,” Masters said.

“It was really unfortunate. … I sympathize with the family of this distressed man, as well.”

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