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Kingsport deer hunters find human remains; family of missing man notified

Rain Smith • Updated Oct 30, 2015 at 4:32 PM

Though confirmation must await a medical examiner's report, the six-week search for an elderly Kingsport man may have ended with the Friday discovery of human remains behind a shopping center.

At 11 a.m., Kingsport police were contacted by a pair of deer hunters who were scouting land, saying they'd found human remains behind The Shoppes on East Stone, 2637 E. Stone Drive.Investigators descended on the area to find the remains in a heavily wooded area, several hundred feet off the back parking lot of the complex.

Though no signs of foul play were evident, police detectives and forensic investigators worked the incident as a crime scene: cordoning off the area with police tape, collecting evidence and taking photos. Kingsport Police Department Public Information Officer Tom Patton confirmed to the Times-News that the family of Eugene Marshall, 80, were also notified of the discovery.

On Sept. 17 Marshall, a sufferer of Alzheimer's and dementia, walked away from his home on Brookwood Circle. An extensive search was launched and the public notified of his status as a missing person, with the KPD providing family photos and surveillance footage from a convenience store where he had been spotted.

At the scene of Friday's discovery, Patton said it could take two weeks for the medical examiner's office to positively identify the human remains. He declined to comment on how long the individual appeared to have been deceased.

Patton also acknowledged that police would like to bring closure to Marshall’s family, who have scoured the city and surrounding area handing out flyers on their missing loved one.

A Friday afternoon statement from the KPD said no further information was currently available.

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