Missing man found deceased

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, February 2, 2022

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PLEASANT HILL – No foul play is suspected after an 86-year-old man, who apparently walked away from his home on Monday, was found deceased on Tuesday.

The family of Earlie Garner said he suffered from dementia and other medical conditions.

Garner was last seen alive by family members at around 5 p.m. on Monday. The Northampton County Sheriff’s Office was called in the next day (Tuesday), arriving at a residence off of Hillcrest Lane in Pleasant Hill shortly before 9:30 a.m.

Numerous resources were immediately called and a search began to locate Garner. At approximately 12:15 pm, members with Gaston Fire and Rescue located an elderly deceased male subject behind the fire department substation on Highway 48 approximately one mile from Garner’s residence. Investigators along with family members were able to confirm that the found person was Earlie Garner.

Upon investigation it appears that Garner died from natural causes with no foul play being suspected. It appears that sometime during the nighttime hours after 5 pm on Monday, Garner walked from his residence to the location where he was found.

“We are thankful that Mr. Garner was found, but we are saddened that he was found under these conditions,” Northampton Sheriff Jack Smith said.

Smith thanked all the agencies that assisted with this search to include the Sheriff’s Office deputies and investigators, Northampton Co. Emergency Management, North Carolina Emergency Management, NC Dept. of Corrections K-9 Search, Gaston Police Dept., Gaston Fire and Rescue, and Northampton Co. EMS.