MOON TOWNSHIP (KDKA) –Police are investigating what appears to be a hunting accident in Moon Township.

Dale Rudolchick, 53, left his house on Winridge Drive just after noon on Wednesday. When he didn’t return by the time it was dark, family members went to a neighbor’s house looking for help.

“The last time the wife talked to him was in the afternoon about one o’clock in the afternoon,” Moon Township Police Captain Gregory Seamon said. “This is about eight o’clock the daughter went over to talk to the neighbor and said her dad hadn’t come home yet. The neighbor said wait until about nine o’clock, he may have gotten a deer.”

That neighbor, Russell Lober, went into the woods to look for Rudolchick.

By 9 p.m., Rudulchick still wasn’t home and the neighbor, who has hunted with the man before, went to a familiar tree stand and found Rudolchick.

He had fallen roughly 15 feet according to police, and had a noticeable head injury, although the cause of death is still unknown.

“He was either climbing up or getting out of the tree. We can’t determine that at this point. But, obviously, the coroners will look into any medical issues that may have caused this to happen,” Seamon said.

Police said a harness was found in the man’s pocket, but was not in use when he fell.

“A lot of times they just use them while they’re in the tree stand to keep them from falling out of the tree stand. We believe he either fell trying to climb up to the tree stand or climb down out of the tree stand,” Seamon said.

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner was called to the scene. So far, there is no official cause of death.

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Heather Abraham