Body found in wooded area of Southern Randolph Co.

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Scene where the body of Susan Peterson was found in Randolph County.

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RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. — Authorities said an unidentified body was found in a wooded area of Southern Randolph County on Saturday morning.

Deputies said the body was found near a “makeshift shelter,” made of black garbage bags tied to trees along Pisgah Covered Bridge Road by Pisgah Church Road.

Officials said the body was found by Ash-Rand Rescue’s Search and Rescue team and the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office during a planned training session.

Investigators said they found food, water bottles, books (paperback novels and a Bible), hand tools, various clothing and a suitcase at the scene.

Authorities said the person appears to have been dead for several weeks. The body will be sent to the state medical examiner’s office in Raleigh to determine an identity and possible cause of death, deputies said.

Investigators said the body was found during a planned training event for the search team.

The location of the search was chosen after a missing South Carolina woman’s pickup truck was found nearby in August, according to deputies.

Investigators said they wanted to expand on the original area, which had been thoroughly searched using K9s, a helicopter and an airplane.

Deputies said the investigation is ongoing and there is no final conclusion on how the body relates to the missing vehicle found in August.

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