Remains found in Smokies identified as missing Nashville man
Michael Giovanni Cocchini (source: National Park Service)
GATLINBURG (WATE) - Human remains found in August in Great Smoky Mountains National Park have been identified as a Nashville man, officials said Thursday.
Michael Giovanni Cocchini, 23, went missing in the park on the weekend of March 17-18. The park service searched for him, but came up empty and suspended the effort on March 25.
In August, park employees found some of Cocchini's items near the area where his vehicle was found parked.
Investigators worked with the Sevier County Medical Examiner's Office, the Knoxville Regional Forensic Center, and the Knox County Sheriff's Office Forensic Unit to make the official identification through dental records.
Officials say there's no way for park investigators to determine an exact cause of death, but evidence found at the scene indicates that Cocchini intended to take his own life.