DOBSON — State and county authorities have completed investigative work at the site where a Surry man’s body was found last week, but an official ruling on the death is yet to come.
“We finished the crime scene yesterday,” Sheriff Graham Atkinson said Thursday of a house at 124 Lindsay Creed Lane where the body of Harry Watts Jr., 52, was discovered in tall grass outside. Authorities have labeled the death as suspicious.
Atkinson said that along with other investigative efforts, this week’s work involved blood-spatter analysis by the State Bureau of Investigation, which has been assisting the Surry County Sheriff’s Office with the case.
“We’re waiting to get a report back from them and some things from the medical examiner,” the sheriff added Thursday, which will help pinpoint the exact manner of Watts’ death. “I’d say at least a week,” Atkinson said of when that might occur.
The sheriff said earlier that officials did not know if the death was a result of a homicide or suicide. Authorities found a weapon believed to be linked to the death, but have not released information on it or the way in which the man died.
Investigators have spent the better part of the past week at Watts’ residence off Red Brush Road, where the body was found on July 16 after a neighbor asked deputies to conduct a welfare check there. The man apparently lived alone and rarely had contact with neighbors.
Along with locating Watts’ body, responding officers found the door to the house open, which was not thought to be unusual since the home lacks air-conditioning.
The body was sent to the state Medical Examiner’s Office in Chapel Hill for an autopsy, and authorities had to rely on dental records to confirm the man’s identity as Watts.
Contact Tom Joyce at email@example.com or at 719-1924.