Body found in barn believed to be missing Hadley man


Staff Writers
Friday, March 29, 2019

HADLEY — A man found dead in a barn on West Street on Saturday, March 23, is believed to be Patrick B. Kroll, who was reported missing earlier this month, according to the Northwestern district attorney’s office.

The barn is located on a separate property away from Kroll’s home which is also on West Street. No foul play is suspected and the death is not considered criminal in nature, Mary Carey, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, wrote in a statement Sunday.

Kroll, 57, was reported missing by his co-workers at Williamsburg Pharmacy and Hardware when he failed to show up for work on March 12. Kroll began managing the hardware store a decade ago after helping to construct its current building, according to Gregory Conz, the business’s owner.

“He was such a great, generous person. He would give you the shirt off his back,” Conz said when reached at home Sunday, remembering how Kroll would sometimes drive parts and equipment directly to customers who couldn’t get to the store themselves.

“He wouldn’t charge them anything. It was out of the goodness of his heart, that was just his nature,” Conz said. “He considered us, and we considered him, family. It leaves a hole in our hearts to know that he is gone.”

In the days after he went missing, Conz says he witnessed a “groundswell of community support.” Many customers, after asking after his welfare, joined search parties that organized throughout town.

Simultaneously, police searched the area around Kroll’s West Street home with a helicopter and dogs, and knocked on doors, but their efforts were unsuccessful. Kroll’s last known whereabouts were at the Cinemark at the Hampshire Mall on Monday, March 11.

Positive identification and cause of death will be determined by the chief medical examiner’s office. The matter remains under investigation by the Hadley Police Department and the Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Northwestern district attorney’s office.