On Saturday, Feb. 5, a 44-year-old graphic designer who worked for the Yale Office of Public Affairs & Communications was captured on security footage leaving a health food store in New Haven. Four days later, he was reported missing.
But the search to find Anton Sovetov did not end until this past weekend when a mom and her son walking along Long Island Sound in Cutchogue discovered his 6-foot-2-inch, 200-pound fully clothed body along the shoreline.
“We were running, walking, climbing rocks, our usual path,” Cutchogue resident Amy Kaufman said of the roughly mile-long journey from Duck Pond Road west along the beach that she took with her 4-year-old son Oliver and their Cavalier King Charles spaniel before the boy made the tragic discovery.
“My son looked out and said, ‘Is that a dead body?’” Ms. Kaufman recalled. “It was very recognizable as that and so I said, ‘Yeah I think it is.’ ”
Ms. Kaufman said after getting a closer look and seeing that the man had been dead for some time, she marked the area where the body was found and walked away to call police.
Southold police confirmed Saturday’s discovery, which was announced Wednesday by the Yale press office. No cause of death has been released.
“We will continue to do all we can in the face of this terrible tragedy,” Yale Chief of Police Ronnell Higgins said in the release.
Mr. Sovetov, who was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, first arrived at Yale in fall 2014 to obtain his M.F.A. at the Yale School of Art. He remained at the Ivy League institution as an employee for the past five years.
“Sovetov shaped visual messaging for a wide variety of Yale offices, initiatives, celebrations, and programs, including the Fortunoff Archive of Holocaust Testimonies, the new residential colleges, the Yale Planetary Solutions Project, commencement, and the university’s response to COVID-19,” the university said in an obituary.
“We mourn Anton’s loss,” vice president for communications Nate Nickerson said in a press release. “Anton was a wonderful, devoted colleague with uncommon talent. His work honored and added to Yale’s legacy of exceptional graphic design. We will miss him dearly.”
Yale University Printer John Gambell, who hired Mr. Sovetov and supervised him throughout his Yale career, said in a press release that his friend had wished to remain in the U.S. but remained close with his mother in St. Petersburg, who survives him.
Yale police had been working with the New Haven Police Department and Connecticut State Police in a search for Mr. Sovetov that lasted just shy of three months. At the end of March, nearly two months into the investigation, a $10,000 reward was offered for his whereabouts, according to a press release.
Ms. Kaufman said she was grateful that at least Mr. Sovetov’s friends and family could have some closure from the discovery of his whereabouts. She hopes they receive even more answers as to what happened to him in the near future.
Anyone with information that could aid the investigation into Mr. Sovetov’s death is asked to contact Yale Police at 203-432-4400 or New Haven Police at 203-946-6316.