Body Found On Middle Mountain
In a statement from the Highland County Sheriff’s Office, it was reported that on Saturday, July 9th about 7:00 pm, a citizen reported what they though was an abandoned black Nissan Pathfinder in the area of Middle Mountain. Deputy Bob Kelly went to check out the vehicle about 1:00 am Sunday morning and ran a check on the vehicle’s license plate – no wants or missing person reports were returned, and he did not disturb it. On Monday, officers returned to the area to check on the vehicle further. When authorities searched the vehicle, it was not locked and the keys were inside. A cell phone, clothing, and personal documents were also found inside. A number of addresses found on documents in the vehicle failed to check out. Based on investigation of the scene, it was determined that the individual was overdue in returning to the vehicle and a search of the area was started. Christopher Anthony Suarez, 53, was believed to be the missing man based on documents found in the vehicle.
Tuesday morning, U.S. Forest Service law enforcement, Virginia State Police and a VSP canine unit joined sheriff’s deputies on a small-scale search. About 1:20 Tuesday afternoon, two Highland deputies discovered a body off a trail – it was badly decomposed, and noted they could not identify or determine the cause of death. The Medical Examiner’s office will make the final determination of the identity of the body.
The sheriff’s office has no reason to believe another person was with Mr. Suarez, or to believe that this incident poses a threat in any way to anyone else.