Authorities: Human remains ‘likely’ those of man missing since last year

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Authorities: Human remains 'likely' those of man missing since last year


OLD FORT, N.C. — The human remains found in a wooded area in Old Fort the morning of Oct. 13 are likely those of a man who went missing on Nov. 28, 2019, according to a release from the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office Friday, Oct. 15.

The released states an area resident found skeletal remains in a wooded area off Lavender Road Tuesday morning, Oct. 13. The remains were recovered and sent for autopsy.

Joseph Mark Loftis, 40, who lived on Lavender Road, was reported missing on Thanksgiving Day last year.

Since then, investigators with the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office have followed up on several leads and conducted multiple searches for Loftis that yielded no answers.

“Based on evidence found at the scene where the remains were recovered, the location of the scene and the amount of time the remains had been there, we believe it to be Joe Loftis,” said Captain Shanon Smith. “However, due to the condition of the remains, a positive identity is going to take an extended amount of time.”

The Sheriff’s office said the remains showed no signs of foul play.

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