Man found dead in New River

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By Ben Bomberger, Reporter



FRIES — A North Carolina man spending the weekend in Grayson County was found dead late Saturday after apparently drowning in the New River.

Elwood O. Montgomery, 63, of Mount Airy, N.C. was camping with his wife at Camp Dickenson near Fries.

According to Grayson County Sheriff Richard Vaughan, Elwood and his wife had just finished kayaking on the New River when his wife decided to head back to the campground to begin preparing dinner.

"He decided to make one more trip across the river," said Vaughan. "He never showed up and that's when she called."

The call came in around 9 p.m. on Saturday from the wife who said her husband had not returned to the campground as planned. At that point he had been missing for nearly two hours.

Crews immediately responded to the Camp Dickenson site and set up a command post.

Shortly after the call, authorities were in boats searching the river with flashlights — as well as riding the banks on four-wheelers and other off-road vehicles.

Around 10:30 p.m. a kayak was found about a quarter-mile below Camp Dickenson.

Members of the Baywood Search and Rescue team located the body of a white male near the kayak shortly after 11 p.m.

The victim was identified as Montgomery. He was not wearing a life jacket.

The incident is under investigation by Conservation Police Officers Jason Harris and George Shupe.

Conservation police officers from the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries were assisted in the search by members of the Grayson County Sheriff's Office, Virginia State Police, Galax Police Department, Fries Police Department, Baywood Search and Rescue, Galax Volunteer Fire Department, Fries Volunteer Fire and Rescue, Independence Volunteer Fire Department and Independence Rescue Squad.