Crews found 14-year-old Daniel Sheets, of Broadway, in a wooded area in Harnett County around 11:30 a.m. Authorities said they needed to use all-terrain vehicles to get to where Sheets' body was found.
Investigators would not say if Sheets died as a result of a hunting accident, suicide or murder.
The Lee County Sheriff's Office said Sheets was last seen between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. Tuesday in a wooded area behind his residence off Bradley Drive. Officials said Sheets was hunting when he decided to separate from three friends -- two 14-year-olds and a 17-year-old.
Sheets' family contacted the Sheriff's Office around 8 p.m. Tuesday after the teen did not return home. Emergency crews began searching for Sheets at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. Officials said 50 to 75 people were part of the initial search. The effort included personnel from the Lee County Sheriff's Office, Fire Department, EMS and a Chatham County K-9 unit.
A Highway Patrol helicopter with thermal imaging cameras also aided in the overnight search.
Officials said the Sheets family recently moved to North Carolina from Georgia, so he may have been unfamiliar with the area. They also said Sheets required medication for an undisclosed condition.
The Harnett County Sheriff's Office is leading the investigation into Sheets' death. Authorities have questioned members of Sheets' family and the group of friends he was with when he was in the woods.
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