Ginseng found with man's remains in GSMNP, sister says

David J. Carver / Source: Blount County Sheriff's Office

GSMNP, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Officials have identified human remains found in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Monday.

The remains were identified as David J. Carver, age 64, of Blount County. The circumstances surrounding his death are still under investigation.

The Blount County Sheriff's Office had been searching for Carver since April 29, 2019. "This is not the outcome we hoped for," the sheriff's office said on Facebook.

Carver's sister, Wilma, said Carver was an "avid ginseng hunter, so he was probably in the park every week."

Wilma said ginseng was found near her brother's remains.

She said her brother was "known as the mountain man in our area because he had the long hair, the long beard. David has climbed those mountains for probably the last 50 years. He knows them like the back of his hand."

Carver's sister told WVLT News that he was on an extremely vertical embankment when searchers found him.

According to a news release, searchers were tipped off by a hiker and found human remains in an off-trail area of the park near Laurel Creek Road.

Park officials said the remains were found on July 8 at around noon and appeared to be several months old.

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