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  1. #1
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    NC - John, 79, & Irene Bryant, 84, Henderson County, Nov 2007

    http://www.wyff4.com/news/14531861/detail.html

    November 7, 2007

    The search has intensified for a husband and wife who have been lost in the mountains of North Carolina for more than two weeks.


    John Bryant, 79, and his wife, Irene Bryant, 84, were reported missing by their children. The Bryants live in Henderson County and they are known as avid hikers who have spent a lot of time on trails in the area.


    Their car was located Tuesday afternoon on Yellow Gap Road, off U.S. 276 in Transylvania County.

    The search has intensified for a husband and wife who have been lost in the mountains of North Carolina for more than two weeks.


    John Bryant, 79, and his wife, Irene Bryant, 84, were reported missing by their children. The Bryants live in Henderson County and they are known as avid hikers who have spent a lot of time on trails in the area.


    Their car was located Tuesday afternoon on Yellow Gap Road, off U.S. 276 in Transylvania County.

    much more at link

    pic


    (They look like such a nice couple. I hope they're found soon.)

  2. #2
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    Maybe one found?

    http://www.wyff4.com/news/14553606/detail.html

    November 9, 2007

    Transylvania County Sheriff David Mahoney said Friday that searchers found a body in the area that has been searched for a couple missing in the mountains of North Carolina, but the identity of the person has not yet been confirmed.


    The body was recovered within about a mile of where an SUV belonging to John Bryant, 79, and Irene Bryant, 84, was found.

    and

    During the week, WYFF News 4 learned that John Bryant took heart medication. Family had said that he probably wouldn't last long without it.


    Ethan Smith with the Brevard Rescue Squad said, "Probably the most likely scenario at this point is that they went hiking, either got lost or had a medical problem and were unable to get out."

    more at link


    So sad.

  3. #3
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    I saw an update (11/15) that stated that Irene tried to call 9ll. I wonder how they know her husband didn't use her phone. Was her body found with the cell phone?

    I think most people assume the body found is one of the Bryants. Reports say there is no evidence of foul play. Why not release infomation?

  4. #4
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    A long and detailed news article

    Here: http://www.blueridgenow.com/article/...98/0/OPINION02

    Saturday's search expanded to include more than 100 people, the largest yet, and came a day after authorities found a body off Yellow Gap Road. The body, which had not yet been identified Saturday, was found within 30 yards of where the couple's car was parked, Transylvania County Sheriff David Mahoney said.

    Searchers discovered the body a short distance off a trail and partially covered with leaves, he said. The body has been sent to the State Medical Examiner's Office in Chapel Hill to determine identification and cause of death. Authorities have not yet disclosed if the body was of a man or women.

    "The ME's office said it could be as late as Tuesday before we have a positive identification," Mahoney said.

    The investigation is continuing and is being treated as a homicide until determined otherwise, the sheriff said.

    Because the body was found on federal lands, FBI officials were assisting in the investigation, along with agents of the State Bureau of Investigation.

    The sheriff said it is his office's standard operating procedure to initially treat all deaths as suspicious.

    and

    A dropped call made from the couple's cell phone on Oct. 21 was traced by Verizon to the area near Sliding Rock, authorities said. However officials said they are unsure of where the call originated because of problems tracking such calls in the mountainous area north of Brevard.

    much more at link

  5. #5
    SewingDeb's Avatar
    SewingDeb is offline "Sorry, I'm not qualified to land the plane."
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    Another article:

    Search For Missing Couple Suspended
    Body Found; Not Yet Identified

    Mahoney said that they are photographing the scene and documenting evidence before the body will be removed and transported to Chapel Hill for an autopsy and identification.

    He said that the body was found in an area that had been previously searched. He said Friday morning, searchers returned to the area and were performing a shoulder-to-shoulder grid search when the body was found.

    Because of the circumstances, the investigation is being treated as a homicide, but only as normal protocol. Mahoney said that there is no evidence of foul play. He did say that the remains were not buried.

    http://www.wxii12.com/news/14572295/...611122007&ts=H

  6. #6
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    Elderly couple missing in Pisgah National Forest.
    Investigators: Body In Woods Female Killed By Blow To Head
    Missing Couple's ATM Card Used After Unsuccessful 911 Call


    TRANSYLVANIA COUNTY, N.C. -- The body that was found during the search for a
    missing North Carolina couple is that of a woman who died of blunt-force
    trauma to the back of her head, investigators said Tuesday.

    The Transylvania County Sheriff's Office said that there is still no
    positive identification on the body and they have not confirmed that it is
    one of the missing hikers.

    John Bryant, 79, and Irene Bryant, 84, were reported missing and their
    vehicle was found parked near a Pisgah National Forest hiking trail.

    Investigators also said that the Bryant's ATM card was used by someone in
    Polk County, Tenn. on Oct. 22, the day after a 911 call was attempted from
    the Bryants' cell phone. The person using the card attempted to withdraw
    $300 from the Bryants' account.

    Sheriff's investigators checked the couple's financial records and said the
    transaction at the ATM was the first since the Bryants were reported
    missing. The card has not been used since, investigators said.

    The woman's body was found at about 10 a.m. Friday in an area that had been
    previously searched. Searchers said on Friday morning, they returned to the
    area and were performing a shoulder-to-shoulder grid search when the body
    was found.

    The body was recovered about 30 yards from where an SUV belonging to the
    Bryants was found. As of Monday, there has still been no identity released.
    The body was taken to Chapel Hill, for an autopsy.

    Transylvania County David Mahoney said that the body was badly decomposed
    and initially investigators were unsure if foul play was involved, but the
    medical examiner determined that the cause of death was blunt-force trauma
    to the left side of the head.

    The Bryants have been missing for more than two weeks. The Bryants, who were
    married more than 50 years, were avid hikers. They were reported missing
    after their mail piled up at their Henderson County home, and their son flew
    in from Texas and couldn't find them or their car.

    After the couple's phone records were tracked, it was learned that Irene
    Bryant tried to use her cell phone on Oct. 21 to call 911, but because of a
    lost signal, the call never reached the emergency call center.

    The Bryants' SUV was found last Tuesday on Yellow Gap Road, off U.S. Highway
    276. The search centered on a one- to two-square-mile area in the Pisgah
    National Forest near the Pink Beds Loop Trail in the Cradle of Forestry.

    Mahoney said that no additional evidence was gathered from the SUV.

    A scaled-back search for the couple resumed Tuesday in the area where the
    vehicle was found.

    There is a hot line available for anyone with information regarding the
    couple or their disappearance. The number is 828-862-3645.

    http://www.wxii12.com/news/14585411/detail.html

  7. #7
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    This story seems to get stranger all the time.

    I feel so bad for John and Irene's family.

    Hoppy

  8. #8
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    I know that area a little from vacationing there - how sad! It is very beautiful and remote. We drove through there last summer and my daughter's cell phone had trouble finding a tower even on the main highway. So I imagine that off in the woods it would be a problem.

    And how strange that only one body has been found.

    Polk County in Tennessee is just over the border from North Carolina, so it makes me think someone thought they were "home free" and decided to use the card out of NC jurisdiction. Either that or they just needed gas after the long drive through the mountains where there are few gas stations open.

    I'm curious how this case goes, and I hope they find the husband before winter.

    I'm the proud mother of a new attorney!
    It's better to know some of the questions than all of the answers. ~ James Thurber
    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing ~ Edmund Burke
    Why shouldn't truth be stranger than fiction? Fiction, after all, has to make sense. ~ Mark Twain

  9. #9
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    ATM images of the person who used the Bryants ATM card
    http://www.wyff4.com:80/slideshow/ne...10/detail.html

  10. #10
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    hummm don't know why I feel this way but I think that's a young woman using the ATM. I have so many relatives who are in their golden years. How awful that this precious couple most likely encountered foul play.


  11. #11
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    Lightbulb

    Very sad, but Mrs Bryant is now confirmed as a likely homicide:


    UPDATED: 6:05 pm EST November 14, 2007



    TRANSYLVANIA COUNTY, N.C. -- Hikers in Pisgah National Forest said they are being more cautious after a missing hiker was found dead near a hiking trail.Investigators confirmed that a body found on Friday during the search for a missing couple is that of 84-year-old Irene Bryant. She and her husband, John Bryant, 79, disappeared while hiking in the National Forest more than two weeks ago. John Bryant is still missing.Irene Bryant was killed by a blow to the left side of her head, the medical examiner in Chapel Hill, N.C., said. Sheriff David Mahoney says someone was caught on a surveillance camera using the couple's ATM card in Polk County, Tenn., on Oct. 22, the day after a 911 call was attempted from their phone. Polk County is about 75 miles away from Pisgah National Forest, in the corner of Tennessee near the borders of North Carolina and Georgia.WYFF News 4's Mark Allen talked to four women who were hiking in the National Forest on Wednesday.Hiker Peggy McGoldrick said, "We came at this time of year because the leaves are falling off the trees and we have a beautiful view … We did keep our eyes open in case we saw anything that looks suspicious."Amberly Cooper brought her sheep dog along. She said, "I think that he would keep me safe in the woods for the most part."Hiker Sue Rossman was taking precautions too."I came today with some mace just in case we need it," Rossman said. "I think that's a smart thing to do for women in hiking."Possible Suspect Caught On Camera
    Sheriff David Mahoney says someone was caught on a surveillance camera using the couple's ATM card in Polk County, Tenn., on Oct. 22, the day after a 911 call was attempted from their phone. Polk County is about 75 miles away from Pisgah National Forest, in the corner of Tennessee near the borders of North Carolina and Georgia.

    There was no indication from investigators that it might have been John Bryant, and Tuesday afternoon, the FBI offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person seen using the ATM card.Bryant's body was recovered about 30 yards from the couple's SUV, which was found parked near a hiking trail.Sheriff's investigators checked the couple's financial records and said the transaction at the ATM was the first since the Bryants were reported missing. The person used the card to withdraw $300 from the Bryants' account. The card has not been used since, investigators said. They said that they believe the yellow jacket the person was wearing at the ATM machine may have belonged to John Bryant, but they have no way to confirm that.Irene Bryant's body was found at about 10 a.m. Friday in an area that had been previously searched. Searchers said on Friday morning, they returned to the area and were performing a shoulder-to-shoulder grid search when the body was found.Mahoney said that the body was badly decomposed and initially investigators were unsure if foul play was involved, but the medical examiner determined that the cause of death was blunt-force trauma to the head.The Bryants, who were married more than 50 years, were avid hikers. They were reported missing after their mail piled up at their Henderson County home, and their son flew in from Texas and couldn't find them or their car.After the couple's phone records were tracked, it was learned that Irene Bryant tried to use her cell phone on Oct. 21 to call 911, but because of a lost signal, the call never reached the emergency call center.The Bryants' SUV was found last Tuesday on Yellow Gap Road, off U.S. Highway 276. The search centered on a one- to two-square-mile area in the Pisgah National Forest near the Pink Beds Loop Trail in the Cradle of Forestry.Mahoney said that no additional evidence was gathered from the SUV.He said that all indications are that the couple was in the National Forest planning to go on a hike.Mahoney said, "At this point, it's too early to tell if they were able to go on that hike or if whatever happened, happened prior to that hike."A scaled-back search for the couple resumed Tuesday in the area where the vehicle was found.Mahoney said, "If we are fortunate to find the other body, that could help us eliminate something we are working on -- or confirm some things we're working on."There is a hot line available for anyone with information regarding the couple or their disappearance. The number is 828-862-3645.The family is not speaking on camera, but they did express their gratitude to investigators, saying, "We draw sustaining comfort from the thoughts and prayers of the entire community."

  12. #12
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    This couple lived within walking distance of my home. And, though I didn't know them personally I have a couple of friends that did.
    This whole sad story shows us that no one is safe anywhere anymore these days. The Bryants were out hiking as they had done multiple times before.In the very same area. They were good neighbors and good people, an asset to their community.
    If you feel safe in " small town America ", it is an illusion,you are not safe, because where I live is about as Norman Rockwell- like as you can get and now such an unspeakable tragedy hits this dear family.
    My thoughts and my prayers for the loved ones and friends of John and Irene Bryant. God give strength and comfort to all.

  13. #13
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    The first ATM image seems more female, but the second image appears more male. The abductor must have his/her own vehicle and could easily get away with murder(s) - no description, no abandoned vehicle, no license plate. Such a sad story.

  14. #14
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    Wife found deceased; husband still missing

    http://www.wspa.com/midatlantic/spa/...1-16-0010.html

    The search for a missing hiker has officially ended, but investigators are still looking for his wife's killer.

    more at link; info at link states that the person withfrawing money from the ATM in TN was wearing John's raincoat

    http://www.citizen-times.com/apps/pb...D=200771115152

    Crews worked for three days before finding the body of Irene Bryant, 84, partially covered by leaves about 25 yards from where the Bryants’ SUV was found parked along Yellow Gap Road. They also determined Nov. 9 that the couple’s bank card had been used to withdraw $300 from an automated teller machine in Ducktown, Tenn.

    A medical examiner later found Irene Bryant had been killed by blunt force trauma to the head. Authorities are still looking for John Bryant, who turned 80 on Oct. 29.

    Crews worked for three days before finding the body of Irene Bryant, 84, partially covered by leaves about 25 yards from where the Bryants’ SUV was found parked along Yellow Gap Road. They also determined Nov. 9 that the couple’s bank card had been used to withdraw $300 from an automated teller machine in Ducktown, Tenn.

    A medical examiner later found Irene Bryant had been killed by blunt force trauma to the head. Authorities are still looking for John Bryant, who turned 80 on Oct. 29.

    and

    Authorities have said they do not think Bryant was involved in the death of his wife. The couple had been married for 55 years.

    more at link

  15. #15
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    This is a sad and strange story. I hope they find him.

    The coat worn in the ATM picture is very bright and seems like it would be recognizable. Someone out there knows something, or at least has a hunch who that person is. I hope they come forward.

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