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Police identify body found in river

April 4, 2011

Police have identified the body of the man found floating Sunday in the South Fork River near Maiden.

Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid said Monday deputies know who the deceased man is, but won't release the man's name until his family is notified.

Two men, Elliott Teague and Justin Collins, were in canoes when they discovered the man's body as they were floating down the South Fork River on Sunday about 2:30 p.m.

Police haven't determined if foul play is involved in the man's death, but Reid said investigators haven't ruled out any possibilities. Police sent the man's body to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Chapel Hill to determine a cause of death.

Those results could take weeks, Reid said.

Teague and Collins, who were in separate canoes, called 9-1-1 after finding the man's body, and Reid said they aren't suspects in the case.

Reid confirmed the man's body was decomposed, making it difficult to determine if the man suffered any injuries prior to his death.

The water of the South Fork River also complicates police efforts to determine how long ago the man died.

"With it being cold water, (he could have been dead for) several months," Reid said.

Reid declined to say if the man was a missing person.

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