Body discovered in Watauga River

Published 6:04 pm Thursday, March 29, 2018

Emergency personnel worked for roughly two hours Thursday afternoon to retrieve what has been confirmed to be the body of a deceased Caucasian male from the Watauga River near Riverside Park in Elizabethton.

Elizabethton Police Chief Jason Shaw stated the office received a 911 call around 3:15 p.m. from individuals that were walking at the park who noticed an object near trees.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“They reported that they observed a possible body in the river,” Shaw said. “Officers responded and saw the same thing and noted that it resembled a body.”

Elizabethton Police Department, Carter County Sheriff’s Office, Carter County Rescue Squad and others worked to secure the area and extract the body from the river.

Rescue squad members used a boat to take video evidence of the body and then entered the water to extract the body for further examination.

While officials were able to identify the body as a white male, the body will now be taken to East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine for an autopsy.

Shaw added it was tough to guess a timeframe on when the identity of the body would be announced.

Moving forward, the investigation will be handled by the EPD and CCSO.

While the investigation is now ongoing, Shaw indicated that witnesses on scene pointed out that they noticed an object in the river as far back as three weeks ago but that they didn’t think much about it, possibly thinking it was trash in the river.