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Body of Quincy hunter, 83, found in Abington woods

December 1, 2011

By Matt Stout, PatriotLedger.com

ABINGTON —

The body of an 83-year-old Quincy man who went hunting to celebrate his birthday was found deep in the woods late Wednesday night in what authorities are calling a “tragic accident.”

Francis A. Vignoni, who was described by law enforcement officials as an avid hunter, went out alone at about 3 p.m. Wednesday. When he did not return home after a few hours, worried relatives called authorities.

After police searched for more than three hours Wednesday night, a K9 team from the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department discovered Vignoni’s body shortly before 11 p.m. in a heavily wooded area about 300 yards out from Chestnut Street, Abington Police Chief David Majenski said.

It appears Vignoni became tangled in a “heavy, mucky” area, Majenski said, and couldn’t free himself. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Majenski said the death appeared to be an accident, and the Plymouth County District Attorney’s office said there were no signs of foul play.

The state medical examiner’s office will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

“This appears to be a very tragic accident,” said Bridget Norton-Middleton, spokeswoman Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz. “Our hearts go out to his family.”

About 20 people from several departments helped search for Vignoni, including Abington police and fire, State Police, the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department and state Environmental Police.

Majenski said the State Police Air Wing was deployed and about 30 more officers from the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council were en route when the body was discovered.

Four to five of Vignoni’s friends also helped look for him, Majenski said.

“Unfortunately it wasn’t the outcome we were seeking, but the (officials) and the dogs went through the muck and mire to locate this individual. We knew time was an element. It’s a tragic ending,” he said.

Matt Stout may be reached at mstout@enterprisenews.com.

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