Human remains found in McDowell Co. suspected to be missing Old Fort man, deputies say

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(Photo: WKRN)

MCDOWELL COUNTY, N.C. (WSPA) – McDowell County Sheriff’s Office deputies believe human remains found in Old Fort on Tuesday are those of a man who went missing on Nov. 28, 2019.

The remains were found in a wooded area off Lavender Road on Oct. 13., deputies said.

40-year-old Joseph Mark Loftis, 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 but have been unsuccessful.

At 10:46 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, the Sheriff’s Office received information that a resident of the area found skeletal remains in the woods. The remains were recovered and sent for autopsy.

“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,” Capt. Shanon Smith said. “However, due to the condition of the remains, a positive identity is going to take an extended amount of time.”

The remains showed no signs of foul play, deputies said.

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