California man in Molt cliff death identified
The California man who was found dead at the bottom of a cliff in the Molt area late last week has been identified as 50-year-old Jean Paul Defrance.
An autopsy has determined that Defrance died of blunt force trauma resulting from the fall, said Stillwater County Undersheriff Chip Kem. Investigators are still waiting on toxicology reports.
Defrance, who was Fremont, Calif., was visiting relatives on Canyon Creek Road in Molt. Last Wednesday, April 4, he reportedly walked away from the house at 3 p.m. after “consuming seven 100 proof Vodka and sports drink mixed drinks and never returned,” according to Stillwater County Sheriff’s Office dispatch records.
A relative called 911 the following morning, at which time deputies and Search and Rescue (SAR) crews responded to the 140-acre property, which is described as “very rough terrain,” according to dispatch records and Kem.
SAR began the search at 11:26 a.m. and located Defrance’s body at the bottom of a cliff at approximately 12:10 p.m., at which time the coroner was summoned.
“He was deceased from an apparent fall from a cliff near the residence. Hazardous conditions in the area may have contributed to the fall,” said Kem.
Regarding the 16 hours that elapsed between the time the man left the residence and the time the 911 call was made, Kem said the following:
“It was not uncommon for the individual to go for three to four hour walks around the property and also to walk to the neighbors.
After several hours went by, the (relative) contacted the neighbor, determined that he was not there. By then it was dark. The neighbor came over and helped search the property by ATV into the night.
At first light, he contacted us for help. What I can tell you is that there was no evidence observed at the scene or in the autopsy to indicate any foul play.”