• Officials identify man found dead in middle of 250-acre Union County field

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    UNION COUNTY, N.C. - Officials in Union County have identified the person found dead by a farmer in the middle of a 250-acre field Monday afternoon.

    Investigators said the body of Carl Dewayne Melton, 33, was found along McManus Road, south of Monroe and just a few miles from the state line.

    Chopper 9 Skyzoom flew over the area Monday evening and saw crime scene tape roping off part of the field.

    Investigators told Channel 9's Liz Foster a farmer was harvesting soybeans around 4:15 p.m. Monday when he saw what looked like human bones. He immediately stopped and called 911.

    [CHOPPER 9 IMAGES: Death investigation underway in Union County field]

    Investigators believe the body had been there for a while, but it is too soon to tell how Melton died and whether foul play was involved.

    "It is very limited when you have a body in a field, badly decomposed. Our investigators are very good and they're very thorough and they'll look at all leads in this case," Union County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Todd Elmore said. 

    Investigators said Melton was last seen in August and reported missing to the Union County Sheriff’s Office on Sept. 3.

    [RELATED: $7,000 reward for information on man who vanished from Union County]

    They said a team of detectives and deputies have been working tirelessly to find him.

    “This is not the outcome we were hoping for, and we will continue to hold Mr. Melton’s family in our thoughts and prayers,” Sheriff Eddie Cathey said. “Our Detectives will continue to investigate Mr. Melton’s death, and I praise their exhaustive efforts in resolving this matter.” 

    The Medical Examiner’s Office is still working to determine a cause of death.

    Anyone with information is asked to call detectives at (704) 283-3789 or Union County CrimeStoppers at (704) 283-5600. 

    This is an ongoing investigation. Check back with wsoctv.com for more information.  

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