PILOT MOUNTAIN — Local and state investigators were joined by cadaver dogs Friday as they continued to search the scene where human remains were found Thursday in Pilot Mountain.
Police were called to the scene, located at 157 Fox Trot Lane, at 4:45 p.m., Thursday after a county resident reported discovering the body in a heavily-wooded area.
“When officers arrived at the scene, they discovered the remains as reported,” said Sheriff Graham Atkinson.
Investigators with the Surry County Sheriff’s Office have been joined by investigators from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation in the investigation.
Atkinson said officers searched the area until about 9 p.m., Thursday night and resumed the search at daybreak Friday.
Atkinson said the remains appear to have been exposed to the elements for some time, and officers have a lot more work to do before they can determine the identity.
“We have no idea what we’re dealing with right now until we get a cause of death, all we know at this point is that they are human remains,” he said.
At the scene, Atkinson said officers are facing a “long, tedious” investigation.
“We have no cause of death and no identification,” he said. “We’re going to have to be very thorough. The condition of the body is going to make determining even the cause of death challenging.”
He said investigators aren’t taking anything for granted or jumping to conclusions.
“We’re leaving all possibilities open, but we won’t know anything until we know,” he said. “We certainly don’t want to speculate or rule out anything until we have conclusive evidence.”
Atkinson said investigators were expected to be on the scene throughout the day Friday, at least.
“We’re going to continue to search the area until we’re confident that we’ve recovered every piece of forensic evidence out there,” he said. “It depends a whole lot on what we turn up.”
Reach Keith Strange at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1929.