By MIKE LYNCH
A 23-year-old man is dead after an apparent fall from a waterfall between the Cascade lakes in Keene earlier this week.
Essex County coroner Frank Whitelaw said an autopsy performed Friday morning determined that Garsevan Bekauri died of head injuries from what appeared to be a roughly 60-foot fall on Monday evening. Bekauri also had scrapes and bruises consistent with a serious fall, Whitelaw said.
Whitelaw said that Bekauri was originally from Geneva but had most recently been living and working in Lake Placid. He was scheduled to show up to work at 6 p.m. Monday but didn’t make it there. His last communication was a text at 11 a.m. that day with a family member.
Whitelaw said Bekauri’s smartphone contained a selfie photo from the waterfall taken at 5:05 p.m. Monday. It’s assumed he died sometime between 5 and 6 p.m. that night, he said.
Bekauri’s body was found by a hiker at the base of the waterfall on Wednesday evening. The hiker reported the incident, and members of the Keene Valley Volunteer Fire Department and forest rangers from the state Department of Environmental Conservation responded and extricated Bekauri’s body.
Upper and Lower Cascade lakes are located off state Route 73 in the Town of Keene. There is an entrance to a parking lot, where hikers can take a short walk to the base of the waterfall, located on Cascade Mountain. In the summer, the waterfall is often mostly dried up. Whitelaw said the creek bed going up to the base of the falls was dry when he visited there Wednesday. There was just a small trickle coming down the waterfall. He wasn’t sure if there was much moisture toward the top of the falls.