Missing Bledsoe County man found dead - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Missing Bledsoe County man found dead

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BLEDSOE COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -- The body of a Bledsoe County man who was reported missing Thursday afternoon was discovered by search dogs Friday afternoon in a thick area of woods near Porch Rock Road.

Darell Smith was reported missing around 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

His sister, Patricia Dodson, was scheduled to drop him off and pick him up on the side of the road near a mountain in Bledsoe County, where he was searching for blood roots and ginseng.

"He would watch for me to come up the mountain and when I started back down he'd be standing on the side of the road waiting for me," Dodson says.  

On Thursday night, rescue crews found his backpack about 150 yards from Porch Rock Road.

"All his water was there, his food was there, just about everything he carried off," says emergency official, George Young. They searched until 3:30 a.m. but were unable to find anything else.

Crews resumed their search around 6:00 a.m. Friday morning. Search dogs were brought in around 1:00 p.m. to assist in the search.

Soon after the dogs were involved, Smith's body was found about 25 feet from where his backpack was found the night before.

His body has been taken to Nashville for an autopsy. The Bledsoe County Sheriff's Office does not believe foul play is involved.

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