While many Albany Area families are gearing up for a turkey dinner tomorrow with family, friends and loved ones, there is one family mourning the loss of a son, brother, nephew, cousin, and friend.

Many around the Capital Region were upset to learn the news that Ryan Patton, a 28 year old West Sand Lake resident, was located after 8 days of being reported missing by his family and friends. His truck was found of Hayes Road in East Nassau yesterday morning, when a hunter located it on a logging trail. The truck was badly burned, and believed to have been involved in an accident. A body was found on the drivers seat of the truck, which he family has confirmed to Townsquare Media was the body of the missing man.

Maribeth (Patton) Livingston, Ryan's cousin, released a statement on behalf of Ryan's brother, Eric Patton, to me via email about the tragedy.

It is with a very heavy heart that we write about the wonderful young man who was taken from our family much too early. To those who knew him, Ryan Patton was a strong hard-working guy, with a big heart and an easy-going spirit. Ryan never hesitated to help a friend or stranger in need, whether it was fixing cars, home repairs, or assisting someone who was stuck in a ditch. It goes without saying that Ryan will be missed by many. He is loved deeply by his family and friends, and the incredible outpouring of support we've received is truly a testament to Ryan's character as well as to the strength of our community. We would like to thank our friends, the community and authorities for supporting our family through this ordeal. Words simply aren't enough to describe our gratitude to you all.

An autopsy is planned for Wednesday morning to scientifically confirm that it is indeed Ryan that was found. The cause of the accident is unknown at this point, but it believed to be a crash of sorts.

Townsquare Media of Albany extends our deepest sympathies to Ryan's family and loved ones over their loss. Please feel free to tell us your stories of Ryan in the comments below.

Ryan with his parents, Ronald and Marie (Photo courtesy Maribeth Livingston)
The Patton Family on Easter 2012, brother Eric, mother Marie, father Ronald and Ryan (Photo courtesy Maribeth Livingston)
Ryan and his brother, Eric (Facebook/Eric Patton)