Missing Tampa man found dead in Morris Co.

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CYNTHIA MARTENS
The body of a Tampa man missing since Sept. 22 was found in a Morris County pasture three days later.

Robert Vajnar, 82, was last seen at 2 a.m., Sept. 22, and officially reported missing at 9:40 p.m that same day.

Vajnar was reportedly confused as to time and place, according to Lee Becker, Marion County sheriff.

“It was reported to us-and we didn’t know who it was at the time-that a body had been found in Morris County Thursday,” Becker said. “And everything seemed to match up.”

A concerned citizen of Burdick heard about a report issued for a missing person and decided to investigate a vehicle spotted in the area.

“They had heard a vehicle go by at some point,” Becker said. “It was wet at the time the vehicle went by. They decided to investigate and discovered the body.”

Becker said it appeared that Vajnar drove east on 330th, a road that ends in a field in Morris County.

“That location is about 21/2 miles southeast of Burdick,” according to Scott Coover, undersheriff of the Morris County Sheriff’s Department.

Vajnar’s 1992 Chevrolet S10 truck was found within a quarter mile of the body.

The citizen who discovered the body notified the Morris County Sheriff’s Department, who in turn notified the Marion County Sheriff’s Department.

“We were notified by that individual at 11:26 a.m. Thursday, the 25th,” Coover said.

Vajnar’s body was taken to the Shawnee County Coroner’s Office in Topeka where an autopsy was performed.

“We believe that he died of exposure, and no foul play was suspected,” Becker said.

Vajnar was a farmer. He is survived by his wife, Jane, one brother and 15 nieces and nephews.

The funeral was held at First Baptist Church of Durham on Sept. 29, and burial was at the Durham Park Cemetery in rural Durham.

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