Local News

Remains recovered from under Fayetteville bridge

Posted July 18, 2008

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— Crews on Friday recovered human remains that had been found a day earlier in a ravine below the Grove Street bridge.

A homeless man reported the smell and sight of remains under the bridge Thursday morning, police said.

Attempts to retrieve the remains from a 15-foot ravine were unsuccessful Thursday because dirt repeatedly caved in on the site as crews closed in, police said.

"It's just very dangerous," said Detective Tracey Bowman of the Fayetteville Police Department. "The walls are not straight down; they're concave. So, if you go too close to the edge, you're going to have a whole bunch of dirt coming down on you.

"That's why it's taken so long. It's for the firemen and rescue workers, for their safety," Bowman said.

The Fayetteville Fire Department's Collapse, Search and Rescue Unit shored up the walls of the ravine to gain access to the area.

Authorities were able to determine that the remains belonged to a white woman and had been in the ravine for about four days.

Police said the remains would be sent to the state medical examiner's office in Chapel Hill for a Saturday autopsy to determine a cause of death and to begin the identification process.

One inbound lane of the Grove Street was closed most of the day, and traffic was blocked from all four lanes for a short time at about 3 p.m. so a ladder truck could be brought to the scene.


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  • doubletrouble Jul 18, 2008

    Quess they'll be scanning the missing posters after the AR and see if anything turns up. The homeless man needs to be noted for being an outstanding citizen and reporting this. It wouldn't surprise me if the victim wasn't homeless as well, as alot like to hang around water bridges for shade and water. Even in my rural county, I see more and more homeless walking the main roads and passing thru.

  • wife-of-a-concrete-man Jul 18, 2008

    Seems, now,they're planning to close the entire bridge this afternoon, in order to bring in a ladder truck.

    traffic is being re-routed across the Person St. bridge.

    Geeeez, I'll never get home...


  • housemanagercary Jul 18, 2008

    Is the body in the embankment wall, or down near the water's edge where it has receeded?

  • ghimmy51 Jul 18, 2008

    To be accurate your map marker would be at the river on the north side.

  • ghimmy51 Jul 18, 2008

    oops just upstream

  • ghimmy51 Jul 18, 2008

    Folks in that photo you are looking at rescue personnel IN the Cape Fear River on the upstream side of the eastern bridge support. "Buried" does not indicate a person did it in this case. The river covers and uncovers things all the time. The river is currently at a low level as you can see by the sandbar from Cross Creek, which enters the river just downstream.