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Body Recovered from Tuckasegee River

An ongoing investigation in Jackson County after a body was located in the Tuckasegee River.

On May 30th, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office received a missing person report on Fernando Vargas Gonzalez. He was residing in the Tuckasegee area of Jackson County.

Officers had with the aid of the NCSBI and NCSHP made an aerial search of the Copper Mine Court area, the last known location of Mr. Gonzalez. 

In addition to numerous interviews and neighborhood canvases, deputies and local residents of the trailer park have searched the area on foot on more than one occasion since the time of the report.  

Mr. Gonzalez had not contacted his family or friends since the early morning hours of May 29th, 2013.

Searches of the area were conducted on May 31st, June 1st, June 3rd, June 4th, and June 5th.

The Sheriff’s Office had been making arrangements with the Jackson County Rescue Squad swift water rescue team to coordinate efforts to search the Tuckasegee River when water levels were optimal. 

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office was contacted on Thursday, June 6th, and subsequently notified of a potential body being found in the Tuckasegee River. 

With the assistance of the Jackson County Rescue Squad a body believed to be Mr. Gonzalez was recovered from the river about a half mile down river from the trailer park where he was last known to be. 

The local medical examiner was on scene once the body was located and remained there throughout the recovery. 

The body has been referred to the State Medical Examiner’s Office to determine cause of death. 

 



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