Body found near Jonathan Creek
Detectives at the Haywood County Sheriff's Office are investigating what appears to be an accidental drowning after finding a local man's body in the river Monday.
They identified the body of 36-year-old Shannon Dewayne Williams, which had washed against some rocks from the swift current of the river.
"From the stories we’re getting, he went missing possibly the 22nd or 23rd (of December) and no one reported him until the 26th because it was not unusual for him to be away from his friends," said Chief Deputy Larry Bryson.
After talking with several of Williams' friends, deputies were unable to locate him. They eventually tracked his cell phone to the end of Jonathan Creek Monday and began a search.
After an unsuccessful search on foot, a helicopter spotted the body and the Jonathan Creek Fire Department swift water rescue team brought it to shore.
"According to the medical examiner as of now, the way it stands, there were no blunt force trauma marks to his body and no contusions that would lead us to believe it was anything other than an accidental drowning," Bryson said.
He said it's difficult to determine when he died because hypothermia slowed decomposition, but they believe the body had been there about two days.
"Right now, we're investigating it as an accidental drowning," Bryson said.
He expects the full autopsy and toxicology reports to return in about 14 weeks.