A cause of death is still undetermined, but now after two months of waiting, the family of 61-year-old Michael Krasnick says they're grateful he's been found.
Utah authorities discovered Krasnick's body near Monticello, more than 650 miles northwest of Lubbock. He was supposed to start a graduate program at Texas Tech University this fall, and he'd also been awarded a teaching fellowship.
It's not the news he wanted to hear, but Marc Krasnick says the worst outcome would have been total uncertainty. "I began to expect the kind of call I got, but when you finally get the call, it was still a shock of the finality of the information, so that glimmer of hope that we all had was no longer there," Marc Krasnick said.
Marc says his brother Michael, or M.L. as they called him, moved to Lubbock from Austin in late June. He made the Loop 289 RV Park home, and planned to start graduate school and a teaching fellowship in Texas Tech's Restaurant, Hotel and Institutional Management Program. "He was very, very excited about going there," Marc said.
Marc says his brother planned a trip to Utah for a quick getaway before school became his main focus. "That was one of his real passions in life, was to go exploring and backpacking, and camping; he was very experienced," Marc said.
When M.L. never arrived at Tech, his friends alerted police. "We believe July 8th was actually the last time he was seen. He had dinner with a friend and phoned a friend a couple days after that, and since then he hadn't been heard from," Lubbock Police Captain Greg Stevens told NewsChannel 11 back on September 2nd.
Investigators believed he headed to or near Escalante State Park in Utah. On Saturday, Utah authorities told Marc they'd found his brother's truck, and a body with M.L.'s identification.
Tuesday, dental records positively identified M.L. Krasnick. Authorities say there didn't appear to be any foul play or trauma to the body. They found M.L. lying on his back, with his pack as a pillow, off-road in Utah's southeastern wilderness. "His passion was to be in the outdoors and enjoy the beauty and solitude and serenity of these remote areas. He was feeling great about life at this time and so excited about being able to begin this new program, so he was doing what he loved," Marc said.
An autopsy will be completed in Salt Lake City. Meanwhile, Krasnick's family plans to celebrate his life next month in New Mexico. Marc says his brother spent a lot of time there, and truly enjoyed the state's beauty.
Police Search For Missing Texas Tech Graduate Student
The family of a Texas Tech graduate student and teaching assistant needs your help to find 61-year-old Michael Leonard Krasnick.