CLEMMONS, N.C. -- After nearly two months of wondering, the family and friends of 63-year-old Gayle Fleming finally know where she is.
“There’s relief knowing,” said Fleming’s stepson, Joshua. “It was so hard.”
On Monday, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, with the help of the Durham County Sheriff’s Office specialized K-9 cadaver unit and the Lewisville Fire Department’s Water Rescue Unit, found Fleming’s body entangled in brush along the bank of the Yadkin River south of the Tanglewood Park Canoe Access point. Her body had undergone some decomposition due to weather and being in the water for “some period of time,” according to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.
“I was searching myself and I got chills,” Joshua said, remembering moments when he scoured the exact spot she was found, days after her disappearance. “Where I felt like she was the whole time.”
Fleming had disappeared on April 17 and was reported missing the following day. On April 20, her car was located in a parking lot near the entrance of Tanglewood Park in Clemmons, sparking days of searching the park for her.
“Wondering whether she ran off, wondering whether she was still alive, whether she was out there hurt,” Joshua recalled.
Deputies went into the community looking for answers, passing out flyers and checked phone and financial records. However, they provided no additional leads.
The sheriff’s office continued their investigation and refused to give up; prompting Joshua to thank them “for doing what you said you would do and at least bringing her home where we can lay her to peace.”
Fleming’s body showed no signs of foul play when it was positively identified as hers during a postmortem examination.
“I just want to find out the truth. I just need to find out the truth. Of what happened, why it happened,” Joshua said.
Now, those who loved Fleming will have to wait an additional eight to 12 weeks for a final autopsy to be completed to get more answers.
“Something’s happened to this woman that she did not deserve and I’m going to make sure that she gets fully laid to rest,” Joshua said.
The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office says the investigation – which has transitioned from that of a missing person to a death investigation – is ongoing. Anyone with information about what happened to Fleming is asked to contact them at (336) 727-2112.