Human remains found in Polk Co.


POLK CO., NC (WSPA) – Investigators are working to identify human remains found off Howard Gap Road in Polk County.

Polk County Sheriff Timothy Wright tells 7News a passerby walking in the area on Tuesday looked down an embankment near Warrior Mountain Baptist Church and noticed what appeared to be human remains. 

Investigators responded to the scene and confirmed the remains found were human.

Investigators from Polk County and special agents with the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation recovered the remains Wednesday.

Deputies say clothing recovered at the scene suggest the the remains are of a female.

Investigators could not identify the person due to decomposition.

Residents describe the area as quiet, beyond recent mudslides.

“See a lot of bears and that’s about it,” Cindi Rhodes said. “There’s not very much traffic really.”

She said people do dump various items over the embankment, including couches and appliances. 

“Everything gets thrown off the side of the bank down there,” Kyle Rhodes said. 

They would never expect human remains to be discovered off Howard Gap Road. 

“Just shocked, you know,” Kyle Rhodes said. “You don’t want to see something or hear about something like that close to your home.”

The remains are being sent to the North Carolina Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy.

“I hope they get closure for the family,” Cindi Rhodes said. 

Sheriff Wright said investigators checked with local agencies about missing person’s cases, but did not find answers. 

Anyone with information about a missing person are asked to contact Detective Captain Breena Williams at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Polk County Rescue Squad along with Saluda Fire and Rescue, Henderson County Rescue Squad, and the Tryon Fire Department assisted in the recovery.

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