MARSHALL, North Carolina (WATE) — The search for a North Carolina man who went missing while fishing on the French Broad River ended Wednesday when his body was found by searchers.
Philip Shelton, 64, disappeared on Feb. 18 while canoeing in Madison County, North Carolina. First responders on both sides of the state line helped in the search, including several members of Cocke County’s Emergency Management team.
Morgan County officials said Shelton’s body was found by members of the Walnut Fire Department Water Rescue Team around 6 p.m. Wednesday, just below Redmon Dam on the French Broad River in North Carolina.
Dallas Burleson, Shelton’s niece, said the family is sad but grateful.
“I just want to thank everyone who has shared, who has took the time out of their day, all of the rescue groups that came out our entire community thank you,” Burleson said.
Dozens of first responders from Cocke County in Tennessee and Buncombe, Cherokee, Henderson and Madison counties in North Carolina searched for Shelton for nearly 2 weeks.
Shelton’s backpack, canoe and dog were found along the river the weekend he went missing. Rain complicated search efforts said Cocke County Emergency Management Director and Swift Water Team Leader Joe Esway.
Burleson said while the family was hoping for a better outcome, they’re grateful for those who helped in the search.
“I’m going to ask you all for one more favor, please keep my papaw (his brother) in your thoughts these next few days and the rest of the family and his friends,” Burleson said.
Authorities say nearly 400 people go missing in Tennessee each year. That’s five people for every 100,000. Check this list of people missing from East Tennessee to see if you can help locate someone.