BLACKFOOT — The day before graduation at Idaho State University, the body of 29-year-old ISU student Daniel Machado was found on a mountaintop northeast of Blackfoot Friday afternoon. Machado had been missing since last August.
Machado had committed suicide, according to Bingham County Sheriff Craig Rowland. The gun was found next to the body. There was no note.
“Three kids on motorcycles rode in on the Shelley side and found him,” Rowland said. “They called us from on top of the hill.”
The cell phone call came at 1:15 p.m. and deputies met up with the dirt bike riders at the bottom of the hill on the Shelley side of Wolverine Canyon. Three brothers from Shelley, Blackfoot and Utah had come across Machado's remains while they were enjoying a spring ride in the hills. They led officers to the location and helped them retrieve the body, according to Rowland.
“He hiked quite a ways,” Rowland said about Machado's journey to the top of the mountain. “It would have taken him two hours to hike where he did.”
The sheriff said Machado's family in Alabama has been notified.
“I think they're pretty relieved to have us find his body,” Rowland said. “It provides some closure.”
Machado's parents last heard from their son on Aug. 4. The U.S. Air Force veteran had enrolled at ISU earlier in 2012 and had attended summer classes. When authorities began searching for Machado they found his silver 2007 Ford Focus Sept. 4 in the Wolverine Canyon area, near 40 Horse Cave.
Authorities did search an area closer to the vehicle at that time. There were no signs of foul play and law enforcement at the time thought Machado might have gone hiking or camping.