December 05, 2019
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Missing man found dead in Acadia ‘adored his outdoor life in Maine,’ mother says

Courtesy of Acadia National Park
Courtesy of Acadia National Park
Adam "AJ" Emmett

A local man missing in Acadia National Park since Monday was found deceased Thursday afternoon, according to park officials.

The body of Adam “A.J.” Emmett, 45, was found along the shore off Ocean Drive, in between Sand Beach and Thunder Hole, before 1 p.m., park spokeswoman Christie Anastasia said. His family has been notified, and his body has been recovered and sent to the state Medical Examiner’s office in Augusta to determine the cause of death, she said.

Emmett was last seen Monday at the Schooner Head Overlook on the eastern side of Mount Desert Island, near the park’s main entrance gate on Park Loop Road. Rangers became concerned and began looking for him when they noticed his truck was still parked in the lot Tuesday morning.

Emmett’s mother, Paula Sokolow of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, said her son had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which runs on both sides of his family, and that he struggled with depression.

“He finally accepted that he needed help, but I guess it wasn’t enough,” she said Thursday, hours after learning Emmett had died.

She said Emmett, who grew up in Pennsylvania, moved to Maine in the 1990s, following an older brother who had gotten a job in the Mount Desert Island area. The brother moved to North Carolina a few years later, but Emmett decided he wanted to stay on MDI, she said.

“He adored his outdoor life in Maine,” his mother said. “He loved people, he loved music and he loved the outdoors. He was a great [rock] climber.”

In Maine, Emmett became an accomplished carpenter and supported himself by building and renovating houses. One of her fonder memories of her adult son, she said, was when he visited her in Pittsburgh and remodeled her townhouse.

She tried to get him to move closer to her, she said, but he did not want to leave his adopted state.

“He loved Maine,” Sokolow said. “He said ‘I love it here too much.’”

Emmett’s mother said she knows her son had many friends in Hancock County who will miss him. She said people could help memorialize Emmett by making a donation to an organization — she didn’t suggest a specific one — that helps people struggling with mental illness.

“That would be a great way to pay tribute to him,” she said.

 



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