Kansas Man Dies in Desert After Writing Notes to Family Why David Welch was in Utah remains unclear By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Oct 30, 2013 3:24 PM CDT 28 comments Comments This photo released by the Utah Highway Patrol shows David Welch's vehicle in a ravine in eastern Utah. (AP Photo/Utah Highway Patrol) (Newser) – A sad, strange tale out of Utah: A 54-year-old man who set off from Kansas on an unexplained road trip crashed his vehicle in remote Utah, and it wasn't until seven weeks later that a hiker spotted the wreck with David Welch's body inside, reports CNN. But there's also this detail: Welch survived for days and perhaps weeks while trapped in his van and used the time to write love letters to his wife and four sons, reports the Salt Lake City Tribune. It remains unclear why Welch took off without explanation on Sept. 2. His family notified authorities that very day that he was missing, but subsequent searches turned up nothing. His final notes aren't being made public. Police speculate that Welch fell asleep at the wheel, causing his vehicle to go off a curve and into a ravine below. He was about 900 miles away from home. "It’s a pretty lonely stretch out there," says a Utah Highway Patrolman.