LONDON, ONT. -- Elgin County OPP are looking into the death of a snowmobile operator who went missing for about seven hours.

The deceased has been identified as 52-year-old Brad Jackson of Southwold, Ont.

Officers were called to the area of Munro Line around 12:30 a.m. Monday after concerned family members had been searching for several hours.

Initially, heavy snow and night conditions made the search difficult and there were plans to bring in an OPP helicopter Monday morning to assist.

However, with daylight, officers were able to locate the snow machine and later the deceased man in a patch of trees just off Bush Line, near Oneida Road.

Bush Line was closed to traffic between Oneida Road and Boxall Road for the investigation but has since reopened.

OPP Const. Adam Crewdson says the preliminary investigation shows the snow machine crossed Bush Line from an open field into the treed area in poor visibility.

Though marked trails, with limited cover are nearby, Crewdson says it is not believed the machine was on one of the trails, which run in the opposite directions, prior to the crash.