Body found on Sugarloaf Overlook on Blue Ridge Parkway

Allen WorrellEditor

August 8, 2012

Although foul play isn’t suspected, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office is awaiting autopsy results to determine the cause of death of a Mount Airy, N.C. man Friday night on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

According to Carroll County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Kevin Kemp, the body of Michael Jackson Willard, 43, of Mount Airy, N.C., was found in a vehicle late Friday night at the Sugarloaf Overlook on the parkway near milepost 204. Sheriff J.B. Gardner said Willard was found in a vehicle that had been reported stolen in Surry County, N.C. earlier that day. Gardner said the department would have to wait for the results of an autopsy being performed in Roanoke before the death could be labeled as a suicide, homicide or natural causes.

“When our officers responded, he was sitting in the car dead. There were no knife wounds or gunshot wounds you could see, no obvious signs of trauma to his body,” Gardner said. “As of right now we are classifying it as an unattended death until we get the results of the autopsy from Roanoke.”

Investigator Kemp added that there was nothing at the scene to indicate any foul play or suspicious activity was involved.

According to authorities, a witness saw the car pull up to the overlook and park there for several hours before calling it in as being suspicious.