HomeOutdoorsNewsHunter in National Forest Comes Across Remains of Man Missing Since 2018

Hunter in National Forest Comes Across Remains of Man Missing Since 2018

by Craig Garrett
(Photo by: Jose More/VW Pics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

While on a trek in the Nantahala National Forest, a hunter discovered another’s human remains that had gone undiscovered for years. According to a release from the Winston-Salem Police Department, after the hunter reported his discovery to the Macon County Sheriff’s Office, they reached out to share the news. The Winston-Salem police helped to identify the remains as those of 48-year-old Christopher Sexton, who had been missing since 2018, The State reports.

“The remains were identified as Christopher Sexton through dental records. The family of Mr. Sexton has been notified and the missing person case with the Winston-Salem Police Department has been closed,” the police detailed in the release.

Sexton went missing from Winston-Salem on March 13, 2018. His car was found in the Nantahala National Forest in April 2018 according to police. At the time of his disappearance, Sexton had been diagnosed with “cognitive disorders.” This prompted authorities to issue a silver alert shortly after he vanished. Investigators believed that Sexton might have attempted to hike the Appalachian Trail but no other traces of him were discovered until last week when a hunter chanced upon his remains. No foul play is suspected in relation to his death, say police.

More on where the hunter made the discovery

The Nantahala National Forest is located in western North Carolina, approximately 200 miles west of Winston-Salem. The National Forest is one of the four national forests in North Carolina and it is also the largest. For people looking to explore mountain valleys or experience some wet weather, this region should be at the top of your list. Nantahala is known as the second wettest forest in all of America. Since it’s considered environmentally important and has many historical Cherokee ties, President Woodrow Wilson made Nantahala a formal part of American land on January 29th, 1920.

“Nantahala” is a word derived from the Cherokee language, meaning “land of the noonday sun.” In some areas, sunlight only reaches the floor of deep gorges in the forest during midday. This was part of the homeland for the historic Cherokee. In addition, their indigenous ancestors have occupied this region for thousands of years.

In North Carolina, there are two Off-Highway Vehicle areas managed by the forest. The Tellico OHV area located in the Tusquitee Ranger District is famous for being beautiful and natural. Another great OHV area is located in the Nantahala Ranger District. This site also has miles of trout water running through it. Lastly, the Appalachian Trail lies between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Nantahala National Forest. After the Appalachian Trail leaves the Nantahala Ranger District, it flows directly into Cheoah Ranger District. It eventually ends in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.