By Max Hrenda
Authorities say it appears exposure to the cold and rain claimed the life of a North Carolina man after he became lost in the woods in Roan Mountain State Park.
On Friday, the body of John Greene of Charlotte, N.C., was discovered underneath the roots of a fallen tree.
While acknowledging the investigation was in its early stages, Carter County Sheriff Chris Mathes said Greene’s death does not appear to be suspicious.
“At this time, there’s no sign of foul play,” Mathes said. “We’ll know positively at the autopsy.”
Though the autopsy will take roughly 90 days to complete, Mathes said he thinks hypothermia may have been what ultimately caused Greene’s death.
“It looks like he ended up succumbing to the elements,” Mathes said.
After speaking with Greene’s family on Friday night, Mathes said Greene had grown up in Spruce Pine, N.C., 60 miles away from Roan Mountain.
“He and his wife had come over to the Roan Mountain community about a year ago,” Mathes said. “That region was a place he loved.”
At some point last week, Greene was involved in an accident, and became stranded in Roan Mountain.
“At one point, his car ran off the road and he was empty on gas,” Mathes said. “Then he decided to leave the comfort of his car, which would’ve been the safest place to be until somebody got help.”