Missing Man Found Dead in Wallingford: Police

The body of a 30-year-old man was found after a 12-hour search of the Tyler Mill Preserve in Wallingford and police said the cause of death appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. 

Police were searching for Luc John Pentz-Tholenaar, who had last been seen Sunday. The last time anyone heard from him was around 12:30 p.m. Monday, when he sent a business-related email. 

Pentz-Tholenaar's car was found at the Tyler Mill Preserve, which is a 1,000-acre area with bike trails, streams, woods, rivers and open fields.

Police attempted to track Pentz-Tholenaar's phone and the last ping came from the preserve area, but the device was out of power or had been turned off.

Police said the found the body around 12:30 p.m.

In the hours before authorities found Pentz-Tholenaar, friends said he lived in the area and was the "outdoorsy" type, a big trail runner, hiker and biker.

"We're very worried. This is very unlike him," his friend, Victoria Pelka, said. "He's never done anything like this before, so we're just concerned about finding him and making sure he's OK at this point."

Pelka said Pentz-Tholenaar went to Choate & Quinnipiac, rowed at Riverfront Recapture in Hartford and was passionate about the community garden in Wallingford.

“The community garden in Wallingford was actually going to be shut down. He saved it and brought it back to life and has kept it growing,” Pelka said. "He’s an amazing person. He’s a huge believer in community. He runs the community garden, he’s a great athlete, a fantastic friend. Everybody who knows him loves him.”

Correction: A previous version of the story had the spelling of Luc John Pentz-Tholenaar's last name as Pentz-Tholennar, based on information provided by authorities.

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