Local News

Body identified as missing Spring Lake man

Posted March 14, 2013 4:37 p.m. EDT

— A body found earlier this week in a wooded area in Spring Lake was identified Thursday as a man missing since February.

The North Carolina Center for Missing Persons issued a Silver Alert for 59-year-old Howard Douglas Pearce on Feb. 18. He was positively identified by the state medical examiner, the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said.

Pearce was last seen at his residence at 116 Rainbow Court in Spring Lake. Deputies said his body was discovered Tuesday by a child playing near woods in the 100 block of North First Street.

The medical examiner was unable to determine cause of death because of the condition of the body.

Developed in 2007, Silver Alert is a system to quickly notify the public about missing endangered adults who suffer from dementia or other cognitive impairments, such as Alzheimer's disease.

It also allows caregivers and nursing homes to report a person missing. In the past, only a family member could report an adult missing.