Family says man’s body found along Blue Ridge Parkway was from Rhode Island

BOONE, N.C. — After a body was found along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Watauga County, family told Channel 9 that the man who died is from Rhode Island.

There has been an ongoing investigation for days after a man’s body was found Saturday, according to officials. Authorities originally said it was a death investigation, but they are now investigating it as a homicide.

The body was found at the Yadkin Valley Overlook, north of Blowing Rock. Investigators told Channel 9 that the man was stabbed.

Family members said the victim, who they identified as 33-year old Josue Calderon, did not have a car and they don’t know how he ended up on the Blue Ridge Parkway more than 800 miles from his home.

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The National Park Investigative Services Branch has been overseeing the investigation, but the FBI is now joining.

Channel 9 went to the area along the Blue Ridge Parkway and could see the path leading through the brush to where someone spotted the body, feet from the parking area.

Authorities have confirmed to Channel 9 that there was not a car abandoned in the parking area connected to the remains.

His family said that Calderon is a father and has several family members in Rhode Island, including some who are now coming to North Carolina.

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“I would have never of thought that someone would hide a body down in an area such as this,” visitor Roger Martin said.

Channel 9 obtained the 911 call made moments after the gruesome discovery.

“I need to report a dead body off the Blue Ridge Parkway,” the 911 caller said.

“OK, is he in a vehicle or,” the dispatcher asked.

“No it’s down in a ravine,” the caller said. “We were about to walk away.”

Channel 9 spoke with a man who lives nearby who was home this weekend but said he didn’t notice anything unusual.

“Makes no sense to me. Six o’clock at night, almost 24 hours a day people park there to watch the sunrise, watch the sky, watch the views,” he said.

The park service and FBI said they don’t believe the case is linked to the search for Brian Laundrie or any other ongoing investigations. Police are searching for Laundrie, the fiancé of slain 22-year-old Gabby Petito in a case that has captured national headlines.

“At this time, there is no evidence to connect or any reason to believe it is related to the search for fugitive Brian Laundrie,” the FBI stated.

The Watauga County Sheriff’s Office, FBI and the SBI are also involved in the death investigation.

No further information has been released.

Return to this story for updates.