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Man found in critical condition in the woods near Lincoln identified

Posted at 9:47 PM, Sep 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-13 16:30:11-04

HELENA – The man who was found in critical condition in the woods near Lincoln a couple weeks ago has been identified as Lee Klette of Great Falls, 42 years old.

Lewis & Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton told MTN News on Wednesday that Klette had electrical cord wrapped around one of his legs and was in critical condition, as he was extremely cold and his body was shutting down.

Klette’s car, a rented Ford Mustang, was found near a trailhead on August 20th. Four days later, a man walking the gulch with a metal detector heard moaning and found Klette about two miles away from his car.

Klette, who works for Fed-Ex in Great Falls, according to Dutton, was taken to a hospital in Missoula, where he’s undergone several surgeries for internal injuries.

Sheriff Dutton suspects foul play, but so far, Klette isn’t providing any details to investigators.

Dutton said, “If he would have died, we would have had a homicide on our hands, had it not been for the gentleman from Great Falls who was basically prospecting for gold with a metal detector.”

Sheriff Dutton says investigators did find a cell phone, and they are trying to track down a man they believe was with the victim. They’re also working with the FBI’s Violent Crime Task Force.

Reporting by Evelyn Schultz for MTN News