Body found in Kokosing River identified as Mount Gilead man

Staff Report

MOUNT VERNON — The body found in the Kokosing River on May 31 has been identified as the Mount Gilead man who went missing in the area one week earlier.

The Mount Vernon Police Department received notice from the Knox County Coroner’s Office on Wednesday that the body found was that of Jason Wayne Taylor, 40, according to a police department news release.

Taylor was reported missing May 24 after abandoning his vehicle in the Kokosing Gap Trail parking lot. Four local law enforcement agencies – including aerial and K-9 units – combined efforts that day in an attempt to find Taylor.

Officers conducted another search of the area on May 29, with similar results. On Sunday afternoon, dispatchers received a call “in reference to a body in the water,” Police Chief Robert Morgan said.

Officers were called to the area of the Kokosing River behind Ariel Arena.

Two kayakers reportedly observed the individual in the water along the west side of the river, caught in a downed tree. Firefighters were able to locate the body of a deceased male and pull him from the river.

The body was transported to the Licking County Coroner’s Office for an autopsy.

“No cause of death has been given at this time and is pending the results of the full autopsy,” Morgan said Wednesday, June 3. “That may take several more weeks. The investigation remains open.”

Staff Report