LOWGAP — Authorities have discovered a body off N.C. 89 here which may be a man reported missing over the weekend.
A silver 2012 Honda Accord was involved in an accident around 10:40 p.m. Saturday night. That vehicle was traced to Allen Leon Binns Sr., 38, of Winston-Salem. On Sunday, his family reported him missing, one of two missing persons that agencies have been pursuing this week.
Sheriff Jimmy Combs released a statement on Thursday afternoon. On Thursday just before 7:30 a.m., a body was located in a wooded area off N.C. 89, he stated. After the body was located, the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation was contacted to assist in the investigation.
According to John Shelton, Surry County emergency services director, the body will be delivered to North Carolina Baptist Medical Center for an autopsy and to confirm the identification of the person.
There is no way to be sure that the male body is the missing man, explained Shelton. There could have been a passenger in the car with Binns that no one knew about, or this might not be related to the found Honda at all.
“Once identification is confirmed and family members are notified, further information will be released,” stated the sheriff. That could come as early as midday.
According to the sheriff’s office, investigators have been able to piece together a couple of details.
Binns was seen shopping at the Red Stripe Exxon station in Pilot Mountain (at the intersection of U.S. 52 and N.C. 268) around 9:30 p.m.
About five minutes later, he pulled off U.S. 52 onto Cook School Road and stopped at the Blue Mountain Convenience Store at 9:36 p.m.
It was an hour later when the silver Accord was involved in a crash at 10:40 p.m. near the Palomino Mountain Ranch in Lowgap, which is 23 miles west of the Blue Mountain store.
According to the sheriff, the vehicle had sustained only minor damage, and the car was unoccupied. Further details of the incident were not provided.
Since Binns was last seen in the Pilot Mountain area, and his car was found in Lowgap, investigations took place in both locations.
Combs said his office partnered with the Pilot Mountain and Mount Airy police departments, Mount Airy Rescue Squad, Surry County Emergency Medical Services, N.C. Highway Patrol Aviation Division, Dobson Rescue Squad, Triad Bloodhounds and North Star Search and Rescue over a two-day search.
“I appreciate all the assistance from the emergency services and other law enforcement agencies in this on-going investigation,” said Combs.
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A Silver Alert issued Wednesday for another missing man was cancelled after he was found early Thursday morning.
The Mount Airy Police Department said a city resident saw Joshua Patrick Mount walking along a local street in Mount Airy around 5:15 a.m. Thursday. The resident, whom the police department did not identify, reported the sighting, and police were soon on the scene. They said Mount was uninjured.
He had been reported missing a day earlier, having last been seen at Northern Hospital of Surry County shortly after noon. At the time, the 43-year-old Mount was described as suffering from dementia or some other cognitive impairment.
Thursday morning, the city police picked up Mount and transported him to Northern Hospital, where he was being evaluated.
“The Mount Airy Police Department would like to extend our gratitude to the community for assisting in efforts to locate Mr. Mount,” the MAPD stated in a news release.