CHEAT LAKE, W.Va. (WBOY) — The man whose remains were found in a wooded area near West Virginia’s Cheat Lake late last month has been identified, the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Office said Monday.
The remains were identified as Bryn Hargreaves, a professional rugby player who went missing in January of 2022. He was 36 at the time that he was reported missing.
Hargreaves played rugby for the Bradford Bulls before he retired in 2012. He then moved to Pittsburgh after finding love with a girl in Mexico who was from the U.S. When they broke up, Hargreaves moved to north central West Virginia in 2017.
Hargreaves’ last known location was his apartment at the Whisper Creek Apartment Complex, off of South Pierpont Road in Monongalia County.
“Where he lives, it’s amazing. But unfortunately, it’s so isolated. And that’s what’s happened, he became a recluse,” said Maria Andrews, Hargreaves’ mother, who spoke to Nexstar’s WBOY last year about the search for her son.
She said she believed that Hargreaves suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, due to his repeated head hits in rugby. It caused him to have seizures that wouldn’t go away. He crashed his Jeep on Dec. 8, 2021, after having a seizure while driving down the road. He had to stop working after the crash, Andrews said.
“That would have been Bryn’s worst nightmare because he couldn’t walk, he was bed-bound,” she said.
Hargreaves had a conversation with his younger brother over the phone on Jan. 3 at his apartment. He hadn’t been seen or heard from since that day.
His remains were found in between South Pierpont Road and The Hannalei Development near Cheat Lake.
The sheriff’s office said it is waiting for an autopsy to be completed by the medical examiner before Hargreaves’ cause and manner of death are determined.
The medical examiner said it would release that information once it is determined.