• Officials ID body found as missing Gastonia man

    By: Ken Lemon

    Updated:

    GASTON COUNTY, N.C. - Department of Transportation workers found a body on the bank of a river in Gaston County not far from the Lincoln County line.

    Ray Jackson's son said police called him Monday night and told him that the body resembled his father, who was reported missing a week ago.

    Officials on Wednesday identified the body was Jackson.

    His father's body that was found on Landers Church Road 11 miles from home.


    (Ray Jackson)

    The body was discovered under the bridge, an area difficult to get to on foot.

    It would have been very hard for Jackson, 90, who walks with a cane, to make it there alone, officials said.

    It's about a 10-foot drop from the bridge to the rocks below.

    Nearby residents were stunned to find police searching for clues about a man found dead here.

    "It’s bizarre,” resident Lynn Essary said. “I mean, you don't think it's going to happen that close to you."

    Jackson’s son is pleading for people to find his father's car, a burgundy Ford Contour.

    He said that no matter what the autopsy reveals, finding the car will be the best way to find out what happened to his father.

    The death investigation is ongoing.

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