Body in Cape Fear remains a mystery

May 11, 2008 4:09:11 PM PDT
Fayetteville Police are trying to unravel the mystery of a body boaters found in the Cape Fear River Thursday night.

The body was badly decomposed.

Investigators are scrambling to see if the body is one of two missing persons in the city.

"Right now we don't have a positive ID on the person," police spokesperson Jamie Smith said. "They were decomposed so it may take us a while to ID them."

The body was found in the water between the Grove Street and Eastern Boulevard bridges.

Stephen Little is very familiar with that stretch of the river. It's a place he often goes cat fishing at night.

"Well, it's kind of scary because like I say, I'm out here by myself at night so you never know what you might run into," Little said. "And I don't carry any protection other than a dip net. So yeah, that's something to think about."

Investigators are trying to determine if the body is one of two missing persons in the county.

Willie Simon, 61, is a taxi cab driver who has been missing since March. His cab was found near a radio tower in Spring Lake a few days after he disappeared.

Family members say 58-year-old Livest Melvin called police April 3 saying his life was being threatened, and he hasn't been seen since.

"We do have a couple of people in the area who have been reported missing," Smith said. "But due to the lack of a description or any additional information, we [Fayetteville Police Department] couldn't say if it was one of them."

Authorities hope to have a positive ID by next week.

The body was sent to the medical examiner in Chapel Hill to determine the cause of death. Anyone with information should call the Fayetteville Police Department.


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