Body of missing man found in Grainger County

GRAINGER COUNTY (WVLT) -- The body of a missing North Carolina man has been recovered from the waters of Cherokee Lake in Grainger County.

Gary Willis, 51 of Arden, North Carolina disappeared from the Card'nal Cove Resort Friday around midnight.

Grainger County Sheriff James Harville says Willis' body was found in the water right near the corner of the dock he was last seen walking on.

Harville says he does not suspect foul play, but an autopsy will be performed at U.T. Medical Center.

Rescue teams from Grainger County, Hawkins County, Knox County, Morristown, Bean Station, and Knoxville had been searching the resort, near Rutledge since Saturday.

Harville said Mr. Willis was at the resort with friends for a weekend of fishing and four-wheeling.

Late Friday night, his friends went to bed, and he went for a walk.

According to his family, he was last heard from over a cell phone, while he was sitting on the Card'nal Cove Resort boat dock.

"He came here on a fishing trip, and called home to let us know he arrived safely," said Nedra Willis, his wife. "We just don't know what happened after that."

Rescue crews have been using search dogs, divers, and sonar in their search.

So far they have focused on the waters around the Cherokee Lake cove, though Gary's family did say he was a good swimmer.

"We just want him back home safe," said Nedra, before thanking everyone involved in the search.

When he went missing, he was wearing blue jeans, a sweat shirt, and Carhartt jacket.

If you have any information about Gary Willis's disappearance, please call the Grainger County Sheriff's Department at 865-828-3613


You must be logged in to post comments.

Username:
Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Join the Conversation!

While WVLT allows comments on articles, we ask that you respect the online community. Comments may be removed at any time for violations including:

  • Obscenity, profanity, vulgarity, racism, violent descriptions, name-calling or personal attacks.
  • Abuse of multiple accounts.
  • Off-topic comments.

Comments may be checked for inappropriate content or rule violation, but the station is under no legal obligation to monitor or remove comments. If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator. 
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

  • by Kristie Location: NC on Mar 3, 2008 at 10:24 PM
    I'm an Gaary's Great Neice, I want to thank all the rescue works, locals, sherrifs Dept...every one. Everyone helped our family so much and we are so thankful for each of you. Gary is at peace.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 3, 2008 at 03:39 PM
    special thanks to the TN-SRT K-9 teams. good job!

WVLT VOLUNTEER TV

6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Copyright © 2015 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 16164652 - local8now.com/a?a=16164652
Gray Television, Inc.