Body recovered from river was missing N.C. man

A body found floating in the Smith River on Oct. 29 was found to be that of a High Point, N.C. man, according to a release from the Henry County Sheriff’s Office.

A passing motorist alerted authorities after seeing a man floating face down in the Smith River, according to previous reports

Several agencies assisted with the incident and the recovery effort, including the Henry County Department of Public Safety, Fieldale-Collinsville Rescue Squad, Patrick County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources and the swift-water rescue teams from the Ridgeway District Rescue Squad and Fieldale Volunteer Fire Department.

The remains then were transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the Western District of Virginia for identification and an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death.

Using DNA analysis, medical examiners identified the remains as those of Edward Harrison Ariail, 67, of Abberton Way, High Point, N.C., according to the release. 

Preliminary autopsy results showed no apparent signs of foul play or homicide. The completed autopsy report is pending additional testing, the release added.

Ariail, who suffered from dementia, was last seen Oct. 23, authorities said. After his family contacted the High Point Police Department and reported him as a missing person, a Silver Alert was issued. 

Henry County Sheriff’s deputies recovered Ariail’s vehicle in the 2700 block of Fairystone Park Highway, Bassett, the release stated

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