TBI investigating after fisherman finds human remains along Watauga River

Local

JOHNSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Investigation is ongoing into human remains found along the Watauga River in the Highway 321 area.

Johnson County Sheriff Edward Tester said a fisherman on the river made the discovery on Monday afternoon.

“He came upon what appeared to be human remains,” said Tester. “He called 911, the Sheriff’s Department. We responded to it. We did determine it was human remains.”

Officials arrived to investigate the area off of Tester Road in Butler Monday evening. Crews searched for further human remains through Tuesday. Aside from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department, this included the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Carter County Rescue Squad, Watauga Sheriff’s Office, and a pathologist from ETSU.

Crews searched in the area off Tester Road on Monday and Tuesday

“We’re searching the creek banks up and down to see if we can find any other remains that’s been left by the side of the creek,” said Tester.

Officials would not yet say what specific human remains were found. Tester said the search area is significant.

“”It’s a large area, it’s a river creek combination that travels from the North Carolina state line all the way through, so it’s a big area,” he said.

The Sheriff could not yet say if investigators had any leads to where the remains came from. He said they hope to release more details by Wednesday.

This is a developing story. Look for updates on WJHL.com.

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