Candlelight vigil, funeral details announced for Thomas Bryson - FOX Carolina 21

Candlelight vigil, funeral details announced for Thomas Bryson

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Thomas Bryson. (Courtesy: Bryson family) Thomas Bryson. (Courtesy: Bryson family)
MILLS RIVER, NC (FOX Carolina) -

Funeral details and plans for a candlelight vigil have been announced for the Mills River man who deputies said was kidnapped and killed by a fugitive trying to evade capture by law enforcement.

Thomas Bryson, 68, went missing on the morning of July 26. Deputies said Phillip Stroupe II, who is also accused of leading deputies on a manhunt through the Pisgah National Forest and parts of Henderson County in the five days preceding the disappearance, kidnapped Bryson when he left his home on Wolfpack Trail.

Later that night, Stroupe was arrested after deputies in McDowell County said they caught him driving Bryson’s Honda Ridgeline. However, there was no sign of Bryson.

On Sunday, after five days of searching several counties in North Carolina and Tennessee, deputies said they found Bryson’s body in a corn field near South Ledbetter Road and along Glenn Bridge Road SE in Arden.

Stroupe was charged with murder and a list of other offenses in three counties. His father, Phillip Stroupe I, and three others, Larry Hawkins, Jennifer Hawkins, and Frederick Badgero Jr. were later charged with accessory after the fact of first degree murder.

The Facebook group Justice for Tommy Bryson announced that a candlelight vigil will be held Wednesday night on South Mills River Road. The vigil will begin at 8:45 p.m.

Henderson County deputies issued the following safety procedures for those attending the event:

  • Park in business parking lots wherever possible
  • Carpool to reduce congestion
  • Turn on hazard lights
  • If motorists must park along roadways, find areas with ample shoulder space and pull completely off the roadway
  • Pedestrians should remain alert and vigilant to traffic and stay off the roadway
  • Motorists are encouraged to exercise caution, remain alert for pedestrians and travel at a safe speed

According to the Facebook event page, a visitation and a memorial service for Thomas Bryson will be held on Saturday, August 5 at First Baptist Church Hendersonville.

The memorial service is open to everyone who wishes to celebrate Bryson’s life, the page states.

The visitation will be from 12 to 2 p.m. and the memorial service will begin at 2 p.m.

The church is located as 312 5th Avenue West, Hendersonville.

PREVIOUSLY: 

Deputies: Body of missing man Thomas Bryson located in Buncombe County

Deputies: Manhunt suspect charged with first degree murder; DA seeking death penalty

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