Sgt. Geoff Pushee
April 24, 2023

Hampstead, NH – On the afternoon of Saturday, April 22, 2023, a Conservation Officer was training with the NH Fish and Game Department’s newly acquired aerial drone, which the Law Enforcement Division was able to purchase through a generous donation from both an anonymous donor and the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire. The Conservation Officer was flying the drone, near the place that John Matson of Hampstead was last seen in July of 2022. An extensive search for Matson was completed in July, but unfortunately those involved in the search were unable to find him; efforts to locate Matson have been ongoing since July.

With the use of the drone, the Conservation Officer was able to search a swamp that was nearly impossible for ground crews to access, and he was able to find skeletal remains of a person in the swamp. The remains were removed on Sunday, April 23, 2023, by the Hampstead Police Department and NH Fish and Game Conservation Officers. Positive identification of the body will be made by the State of New Hampshire’s Medical Examiner’s Office in the days to come.

Although the body has not been positively identified yet, NH Fish and Game and the Hampstead Police Department would like to thank the public, and all involved with this unfortunate incident, for their help and support during this difficult case, and we would like to send our deepest sympathies and condolences out to family and friends of the Matson family.