JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A missing 67-year-old man at the center of a multi-agency search was found dead Friday morning in Nocatee, authorities confirmed.
Shortly before 11 a.m. Friday, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said a body believed to be that of David Berlin had been found. It wasn’t immediately clear how Berlin died, and police said his death is now under investigation.
Investigators, who had been searching for Berlin since he was first reported missing Thursday evening, could be seen placing police tape around an area along Wingstone Drive and Valley Ridge Boulevard about 10 a.m.
“JSO is able to advise that we believe the body of Mr. Berlin has been located,” the Sheriff’s Office tweeted following the discovery. “This incident, unfortunately, will now continue as an active death investigation.”
#JSO is able to advise that we believe the body of Mr. Berlin has been located. This incident, unfortunately, will now continue as an active death investigation. We would like to thank @SJSOPIO, @JFRDJAX and the many citizens for their assistance in the search. https://t.co/vSU4qtdNL7— Jax Sheriff's Office (@JSOPIO) June 26, 2020
Berlin, an employee of Firehouse Subs, did not return home after going for a walk about 2 p.m. Thursday in the Timberland Ridge subdivision in the Nocatee area. Coworkers and staff from Firehouse were a part of the search for Berlin. They sent a statement to News4Jax after learning Berlin had passed.
“We want to thank everyone who came together to help search for David Berlin, a beloved member of the Firehouse Subs Family for more than seven years. Our local community amazed us by banding together swiftly to help, including not only members of our own Firehouse Family, but even those who did not know David personally. We also want to send a heartfelt thank you to all of the public service agencies that worked quickly to assist in this search. It is with heavy hearts that we share David has passed away. Our thoughts and prayers are with David’s family and loved ones as we all mourn this loss,” it read.
Because Nocatee straddles the Duval-St. Johns county line, both the Jacksonville and St. Johns County sheriff’s offices were involved in the search for Berlin.
As searchers fanned out Thursday evening, Berlin’s family said there was no reason for him not to come home. They suggested he might have suffered a medical episode.
Berlin’s employer was among those calling for help with the search, putting up a $10,000 reward for assistance finding the 67-year-old man.