A waiting game

Keith Strange Staff Reporter

August 22, 2013

PILOT MOUNTAIN — The investigation at the scene has concluded and county law enforcement is awaiting the results of an autopsy to determine the ID and the cause of death of a body found in Pilot Mountain.

Police were called to the 157 Fox Trot Lane scene shortly before 5 p.m. Thursday after a county resident reported discovering human remains in a heavily-wooded area.

Investigators with the State Bureau of Investigation and the Surry County Sheriff’s Office spent most of the day Friday at the scene after searching until dark Thursday.

According to Sheriff Graham Atkinson, the remains appeared “to have been exposed to the elements for some time,” making determining the cause of death and the identification of the body “extremely difficult.”

“We have no cause of death and no identification,” he said Friday.

At this point, Atkinson said investigators are simply awaiting the results of an autopsy that is yet to be performed on the remains.

“We sent the body off to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, and are now waiting on them to get us the results of the autopsy and hopefully an identification,” he said. “But we have no idea as to the time frame involved. I hope they’ll be able to tell us something at some point, but as to when I don’t know.

“At this point, we’re just waiting. All we know at this point is that they are human remains.”

Atkinson said the autopsy is in the process of being scheduled, and investigators are waiting to determine their next move.

“We will be using that information to determine where to take the investigation from here,” he said.

But the sheriff noted that there is keen interest in the investigation around the county.

“Everywhere I’ve been this weekend, that’s been the topic of conversation,” he said Monday morning.

Reach Keith Strange at kstrange@civitasmedia.com or 719-1929.