PILESGROVE — Almost eight months after a local man went missing after a trip to Maryland, law enforcement confirmed his body has been found in a state forest.

The Howard County Police Department confirmed on its Facebook page that the body of David Gipson Smith, 28, was found by hikers last month in the Greed Ridge State Forest. The Maryland police department said the cause of death has been ruled as "undetermined," and that Smith was identified by dental records.

Smith was supposed to be visiting an acquaintance on August 6, and was reported missing six days later, according to police.

In September, Gipson Smith’s mother posted on Facebook about her son’s disappearance. She said he had planned to visit a friend in Catonsville, Maryland, and in his last text message with his father confirmed he had arrived. Julie Smith said the friend he had planned to meet had a change of plans and had arranged to set him up with someone else for the weekend.

The news of Smith's body being identified was confirmed on a Facebook page dedicated to finding him.

"Mere words cannot even begin to express how much the outpouring of your love and support have touched the Smith family," the post said. "They are truly humbled with gratitude. Thank you to everyone."

The police said Smith's body was found "in late February," but that they were unable to confirm when he died.

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