The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a scene after human remains were discovered.
Officials identified the skeletal remains as 57-year-old James Michael Beam who had been reported missing in July.
Jessie Gary Rhodes has been charged with murder in connection with the case.
Authorities say two hunters who were bow hunting contacted authorities after finding bones on Saturday, December 12th.
Deputies were dispatched to a location near the intersection of Bringle Ferry Road and River Road in Morgan, North Carolina.
This prompted an extensive search in the region by the sheriff’s office and the State Bureau of Investigation.
The scene was office taped off and treated it like a crime scene until they could uncover what happened.
Sheriff Kevin Auten says deputies could not conduct a thorough investigation Saturday night, because it was too dark. They had to hold off on the search and start it back up in the morning.
“The body was in such a condition that waiting another 12 hours was not going to change the case,” Sheriff Auten said.
The sheriff says it appears the body had been out there for at least months.
Rhodes has been placed in the Rowan County Detention Center under no bond. His first court appearance was Monday, December 21.
His next court appearance will be January 13.