Body of man found in city

Tom Joyce Staff Reporter

October 4, 2013

Mount Airy police are seeking answers regarding the discovery of a body in the city.

The remains, believed to be those of a Caucasian male between 50 and 70 years old, were found Wednesday in a wooded area just south of Bank of America on West Independence Boulevard.

A member of a landscaping crew who was mowing in that area made the discovery, Police Chief Dale Watson said Friday, pinpointing the location as between the bank and Kerr Drug.

“At this point, it does not appear suspicious,” Watson said of the man’s death, which is believed to have occurred in the early summer months based on initial findings of a medical examiner.

The identity of the deceased is unknown, and in the meantime the body has been sent to a Winston-Salem hospital, Wake Forest Baptist Health, for an autopsy.

Although the discovery occurred Wednesday, Watson said police delayed announcing it until Friday in order to obtain sufficient details to issue a public appeal for any knowledge someone might have about the man.

“We were just trying to wait to get some preliminary information,” he said of the initial examination of the body pending a full autopsy that will determine the exact cause of death or additional findings.

City investigators have been checking with other law enforcement agencies in the immediate area and surrounding jurisdictions to determine if the individual matches the description of anyone in their files.

“And we haven’t been able to locate any missing persons that fit with the body that was located,” the police chief said.

“We have looked into a couple of leads,” he added of individuals possibly linked to the discovery, and they “have thankfully been OK.”

At this point, investigators know the man was between 5 feet, 9 inches and 6 feet tall, weighed between 100 and 150 pounds and had short gray hair. The individual was missing some teeth from his lower jaw.

The man was wearing a burgundy T-shirt with a Pizza Hut logo and dark-colored New Balance running shoes, size 12.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Mount Airy Police Department at (336) 786-3535.

Watson said investigators will know more once the full autopsy is completed.

“Hopefully, the first part of the week we should get the rest of those results in,” he said.

Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or