SALT LAKE CITY: A missing Kansas man spent his final days trapped in the wreckage of his van in a rural Utah ravine — writing goodbye letters to the family he unexpectedly left in early September.

David Welch, 54, was found on Oct. 18 by a hitchhiker who spotted the crash in a desolate stretch of eastern Utah more than 50 miles from any town, said Utah Highway Patrol trooper Gary Riches.

They found Welch trapped inside his mangled minivan at the bottom of a 50-foot ravine — with hand-written notes to his wife and four adult sons.

What’s in those letters, though, is not being made public. The Welch family declined comment and the Utah Highway Patrol isn’t sharing.

Welch’s family reported him missing from his home in Manhattan, Kan., on Sept. 2. The family said the retired salesman left without telling anyone where he was going, said Matt Droge, a police spokesman in Riley County, Kan.