STATENVILLE — The body of a missing North Carolina man was found Saturday in the woods in Echols County, according to authorities.

Bryant Alexander Poole, 71, of Asheville, N.C., was found dead along Buck Pond Road off Ga. 94, Echols Sheriff Randy Courson said Monday.

His body was found around 10 a.m. by hunters, Courson said. The land where he was found belongs to a timber company and was leased to the Indian Bay Hunting Club, whose members found Poole, the sheriff said.

Poole’s vehicle was found stuck in ankle-deep water, he said. The tag proved a match for a car reported in a missing person case from North Carolina, Courson said.

Poole last spoke to his family May 2, according to a statement from the Asheville Police Department.

The coroner’s office was called to the scene at 11:54 a.m., said Alan Leonard, Echols County’s coroner.

“There are no obvious signs as to what happened,” he said.

Poole’s body was sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s crime lab in Macon, Leonard said. The sheriff’s office is awaiting the autopsy report, the sheriff said.

Courson said, after discussions with North Carolina authorities, he believes Poole was in the early stages of dementia.

A dog was reported missing along with Poole; the canine was found dead inside the vehicle, the sheriff said.

Terry Richards is senior reporter at The Valdosta Daily Times.

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