Park rangers find missing University of Tennessee student dead in GSMNP
The man’s car was found in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Thursday night, according to officials.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Park rangers found a University of Tennessee student dead in a remote area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park after he was reported missing earlier this week.
Bryce Evans, 23, was reported missing to the Knoxville Police Department on Monday, Aug. 1. A spokesperson said at the time of the report nobody had heard from the student since July 31 at around 1:00 p.m.
He reportedly told his sister that he was going to work out at the TRECS Gym at UTK and he may drive to Charlotte afterward, a KPD spokesperson said. However, Evans’ card had not been used at the gym and he did not show up for his internship at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
A lead investigator for KPD said Evans’ phone last pinged near Cherokee, North Carolina.
GSMNP officials said that the man’s Grey Nissan Altima, with Tennessee tag #4LO-8L5, was discovered in the national park Thursday night in the Balsam Mountain Trailhead near Pin Oak Gap on Heintooga Ridge Road area. As a result, officials began a search and closed the area.
Officials said within a few hours of searching Friday, they found his body about 20 yards off the trail, which was about one and a half miles from his vehicle.
He was an Eagle Scout and a member of the Tennessee National Guard, according to his family.
Crews with the National Park Service and Cherokee Police, Fire, and Emergency Management Services assisted in the search.
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