Coroner: Missing man froze to death within day of disappearance - FOX Carolina 21

Coroner: Missing man froze to death within day of disappearance

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Billy Joe Garrett (courtesy: family) Billy Joe Garrett (courtesy: family)
The area where searchers found Garrett's body (Fox Carolina) The area where searchers found Garrett's body (Fox Carolina)
HONEA PATH, SC (FOX Carolina) -

A missing Laurens County man's body was found in Greenville County along the Saluda River off Ballard Road Sunday, according to the man's son.

Deputy Coroner Jeff Fowler confirmed the body was found just across the county line in the Princeton area at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

Billy Garrett said a six-man search team came across his father Billy Joe Garrett Sr.'s remains while scouring the area behind his home. The younger Garrett said he was on one of the five search teams probing the area when the 82-year-old's body was found.

The elder Garrett was last seen leaving his home on Highway 25 on the evening of Jan. 28, according to Laurens County deputies.

Family says it appears the elder Garrett had attempted to make a shelter in the area he died.

"He was near some pines, it is possible he could have been trying to build some type of a shelter due to the extreme weather that we believe was occurring at the time of his disappearance," said Laurens County Sheriff Ricky Chastain.  

Greenville County Coroner Parks Evans said Garrett Sr. died from hypothermia within 24 hours of his disappearance, ruling his death an accident.

The younger Garrett said he and his family would like to thank the local news organizations for sharing the photos and information about his missing father. The younger Garrett said he would also like to thank the dozens of volunteers who met with the family daily to search for the missing man.

Deputies from both Greenville and Laurens counties and the Greenville County Coroner's Office were investigating the death.

Copyright 2014 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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