• Body, car of missing Bessemer City man found in Blowing Rock, police say

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    BLOWING ROCK, N.C. - Police are investigating a death in Blowing Rock after a Gaston County man’s body was found Friday afternoon.

    Officers found the body of 72-year-old Milton Hayes, who is from Bessemer City, near Green Hill Road off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

    Police believe Hayes may have died 10 to 12 hours before he was found.

    In its initial investigation, police said they believe Hayes "may have been disoriented and confused when he ran off the driveway and left the safety of his vehicle during an ice storm on Thursday night."

    He was reported missing Thursday morning.

    Blowing Rock police said they located the vehicle driven by Hayes Sunday afternoon a 1/4-mile from where his body was found Friday night. 

    It was found in a heavily wooded private drive off George Blagg Lane. Officials said they believe the vehicle had run through a split rail fence and became stuck. 

    Police said the investigation is ongoing, but it is believed Hayes may have been disoriented and confused after running off the driveway and left his car during an ice storm Thursday night. 

    Authorities said they are working with the North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to determine the cause of Hayes' death. 

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