Body found in Catawba County creek; death ruled accidental

CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. — The body of Ron Christopher Broussard Jr., 33, was discovered early Saturday in a creek in Catawba County, officials said. His death was ruled an accident, according to an autopsy performed at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital.

There was no evidence of foul play.

Deputies said around 11 a.m., they found the body of Broussard, of Rocky Mount, in a tributary of the Henry Fork River near Dorothy Court. The area is just south of Hickory.

According to his family, Broussard began living in the Hickory area in 2022. How he ended up in the creek is unknown at this time.

Investigators believe his body floated a mile, which may make the autopsy challenging.

“Any injuries the person may have suffered as the body traveled through that water versus any injuries that might have been caused by criminal activity,” Catawba County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Aaron Turk said.

A witness told Channel 9′s Dave Faherty the water was up about 3 feet near his home south of Hickory. He immediately called 911 when he spotted Broussard’s body.

“I was down here watching the water coming down the creek and, just in an instant, I probably didn’t see him 3 seconds before he went over the waterfall,” he said.

He said he had gone down to the creek, which is next to his home, after heavy rain overnight and saw what he believed was a body carried by the swift current.

Anyone with information is asked to call investigators at 828-464-3112.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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