December 28. 2011 9:29PM

Body of missing Barnstead man found

BARNSTEAD — The body of a local man missing since Dec. 13 was discovered Wednesday by an off-duty state police officer, Barnstead police Sgt. Joseph McDowell said.

Paul Barnet, 54, a former Rochester police officer, was found shortly before 5 p.m. Wednesday about 200 yards off the Peacham Trail, which runs between Route 28 and Peacham Road, McDowell said.

He was found by the off-duty trooper, who is a friend of the family and was volunteering in the search, McDowell said. He declined to name the trooper.

McDowell said an autopsy will be performed to determine a cause and time of death.

He said the circumstances around Barnet’s initial disappearance remain a mystery.

“We have no idea,” McDowell said. “He lived alone. Nobody knew what he’d been out doing.”