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Search in Neuse River for elderly man ends with body found

Published: Mar. 31, 2021 at 10:28 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 2, 2021 at 4:42 PM EDT
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CRAVEN COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - The three-day search for a missing elderly man in the Neuse River has ended with the discovery of his body.

Charles Vandiford, 71, took a cab from his home in Vanceboro to the BridgePointe Hotel and Marina around 7:30 Tuesday morning. He was last seen near the bridge over the Neuse River.

Major David McFadden says Vandiford’s body was found some three miles downstream of New Bern this afternoon.

Earlier Friday, Sheriff Chip Hughes said a shoe, that has since been identified as belonging to Vandiford, washed up onshore Thursday.

He said rough water and windy conditions made the river murky and hard to search.

THURSDAY STORY

The search continues Thursday morning for a missing elderly man who was last seen near the Neuse River.

Craven County deputies say Charles Vandiford took a cab from his home in Vanceboro to the BridgePointe Hotel and Marina around 7:30 Tuesday morning. He was last seen near the bridge over the Neuse River.

The search was paused Wednesday afternoon because of inclement weather.

A Sidney Dive Team and The Highway Patrol helicopter are assisting in the search.

Officials say they are not ruling anything out, but the search is mainly around the Neuse River because of Vandiford’s last known location.

If you have any information, call the Craven County Sheriff’s Office at 252-633-2357.

WEDNESDAY STORY

Weather moving in has suspended the search for a missing elderly man who was last seen near the Neuse River.

Charles Vandiford took a cab from his home in Vanceboro to the BridgePointe Hotel and Marina around 7:30 Tuesday morning, said Sheriff Chip Hughes.

He was last seen in the area of the bridge over the Neuse River.

Vandiford was seen wearing a white crew-neck sweater, light blue baggy pants, loafers, and walked with a cane.

Multiple agencies assisted in the search Wednesday, including the State Highway Patrol Helicopter, and the Sidney Dive Team.

“We’ve got citizens now that are reaching out to us that have boats that want to get out and help, but right now we’re using a very methodical search process, if we have to extend it ill probably reach back out to other agencies. I’ve got a number of sheriffs that have already reached out to me as well, wanting to bring in boats or whatever we need.”

Chip Hughes, Craven County Sheriff

According to Major David McFadyen, the dive team did discover an area of interest, yet after further investigating determined it was nothing of concern.

McFadyen says they are not ruling anything out, but the search is mainly around and within the Neuse River because of Vandiford’s last known location.

Deputies said they plan to regroup this afternoon and see when to resume the search on Thursday.

If you have any information, call the Craven County Sheriff’s Office at 252-633-2357.

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