A man searching for deer antlers in Missouri earlier this month just happened to stumble upon the remains of an amateur mixed martial arts fighter who’d been missing for almost two years.
Branson Police said in a statement that the remains found on December 22 were identified as missing MMA fighter David Koenig.
“Our department and the amazing group of volunteers never stopped in our efforts to find Mr. Koenig,” Branson Police Chief Jeff Matthews said in a press release. “While this is not the ending we hoped for, we offer our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Koenig.”
There has been a missing person investigation into Koenig since March 2020. Further examination showed that there was no trauma and Koeing’s death did not appear to be the result of foul play, police said. There were also several “other personal artifacts” belonging to Koenig that were found.
“It is with great and utter sadness, I am regretfully confirming that David has been found,” Koenig’s mother Tracy wrote in a post to Facebook. “He was not shot, stabbed, no broken bones of any sort. He wasn’t robbed, as his tattered wallet was still [intact] as well as the two silver necklaces he always wor [sic] amongst some other things. Big Dave is finally at peace.”
Koenig was staying at a budget motel in Branson when he was last seen.
Tracy spoke to NBC News about Koenig in July 2020 and said her son was in distress before he went missing. “He messaged a few of his friends asking for help,” she said. “He thought he might be in some sort of trouble. But by the time they read the messages and tried to respond to him, he had stopped messaging. There was no answer from him. He’s just not someone who would disappear. And he’s not a guy that someone could just take down. 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.”
Koenig competed four times as an amateur and compiled a 3-1 record. After losing his first bout, he went on to beat his next three opponents and competed under the banners of RFA, ShoFIGHT, Brawl Inc, and Rumble Time Promotions.