Area where body found

WILKESBORO POLICE found a decomposed body Thursday evening in woods between Mountain View Apartments (on Abbington Court), center left, and the Big Lots and Lowes Foods supermarket, bottom right. Winkler Mill Road is in the upper end of the Google Maps aerial photo. Investigators are reaching the scene via the road to the cell tower, in nearly the center of the photo.

Two Wilkesboro police officers responding to a call about a tent in woods near Mountain View Apartments, off Winkler Mill Road, Thursday evening found the body of a person who appeared to have been deceased for several months, said Wilkesboro Police Chief Craig Garris.

Garris said the decomposed body was found in woods with thick undergrowth behind the Big Lots store, which is adjacent to the Lowes Foods supermarket.

“Based on the clothing, we believe the body is that of a male,” he said. The body was clothed in a green jacket, khaki-colored pants and brown boots. Garris said the remains were nearly skeletal.

There were no hands or head with the body when it was first discovered by Officers P.M. Brown and Matthew Osborne, but Garris said a head was found later about 20 feet from the body. He said the head was in the same state of decomposition as the body.

Garris said an autopsy would be conducted, but today investigators were looking for some form of identification and any other relevant evidence at the scene.

Garris said investigators remained on the scene overnight and were still there at noon today. He said assistance of State Bureau of Investigation agents was requested and is being provided. Investigators are reaching the scene via a road to a nearby Carolina West cellular phone tower.

Brown reported that he and Osborne entered the wooded area after the Wilkes Communications Center received a call from a man at Mountain View Apartments at 7:21 p.m. Thursday saying he saw a tent in the woods and wished officers to check it out.

Brown said the caller stated that an individual was staying in woods between the apartments and the Lowes Foods supermarket. Lowes Foods and Big Lots both front U.S. 421 West.

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