MONROE COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating what caused a tree stand to malfunction, resulting in a man’s death Saturday in Morgan-Monroe State Forest.

According to the state’s Department of Natural Resources, emergency crews arrived after the man who fell was found by a hunter in an area of the forest near State Road 45. 

Investigators determined 57-year-old Kevin Leech from Heltonville was deer hunting in a tree stand when police said the stand malfunctioned for an unknown reason, causing Leech to fall. 

Leech was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the release from DNR. An exact cause of death is pending autopsy results. Police noted he was not wearing a full-body safety harness.

Conservation officers remind hunters using elevated platforms to always wear a full body harness, use a safety rope, inspect the stand before climbing into it, and never try to put up or remove a tree stand on their own.