Body pulled from Roanoke River

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 30, 2004

JACKSON – Though mystery continues to surround the cause of death of a 42-year-old Wilmington man found in the Roanoke River Sept. 24, authorities are saying all evidence at this time points to an accident.

Halifax County authorities received a call late Friday afternoon after a body was spotted floating in the muddy waters of the Roanoke.

Because the body of the Roanoke is in the jurisdiction of Northampton County, authorities there were contacted.

&uot;We received the call around 5:52 p.m.,&uot; said Captain Daryl Harmon of the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office. &uot;Once our units were on the scene, rescue personnel removed the body of Oscar Stokes Edwards Jr. of 3 Hillcrest Annex, Apt. B, Wilmington, NC.

&uot;He was transported to Halifax Regional Medical Center where he was identified,&uot; he added.

Edwards’ body was then sent to Nash County for an autopsy.

&uot;The autopsy, at this point, is inconclusive,&uot; Harmon said. &uot;The cause of death is pending.&uot;

Harmon went on to say that a thorough investigation of the victim showed that he had family members in the Roanoke Rapids area and that he frequented the area often.

&uot;We also found that Mr. Edwards loved to fish and where his body was found was one of the locations where he was known to fish,&uot; Harmon stated.

&uot;We discovered his burgundy Oldsmobile van parked in the parking lot near the dam area,&uot; Harmon said. &uot;This is a very popular area to park for people fishing along the area where the body was found.

&uot;The car appeared to have been parked there for several days,&uot; he added.

&uot;We are not speculating anything at this time,&uot; Harmon stated. &uot;Our investigation will continue as we await further from the Chief Medical Examiner,&uot; he said.

Harmon would not elaborate on any timeframe for more results, but did say the autopsy did not show any signs of foul play to the body and it appeared the body had been in the water two to three days prior to being discovered.