Man reported missing didn't want to be found; survived on water and corn

Missing 25-year-old's car found abandoned; crews search area near Burke County river

MORGANTON, N.C. — Police said a man reported missing after his car was found abandoned in Burke County didn't want to be found.

Dustin Gray, 25, was reported missing Monday after his car was found abandoned with the key in the ignition on John River Loop Road north of Morganton.

The next day, multiple agencies organized an all-out search for Gray along the river and in some of the marshy brush along the river, but he was not found.

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On Thursday, deputies said someone reported seeing Gray just after 11:30 a.m. off Johns River Road.

When deputies got there, they said they found Gray who told detectives he left his job in Statesville and didn't want to be found.

He said he walked through the NC Wildlife Game Lands until he found a shed where he spent two nights surviving off water from the river and corn from the food plots in the field.

Gray was taken to the hospital as a precaution, but is expected to be OK.