MADISON, N.C. — Rockingham County Sheriff’s Deputies have arrested a Madison man who said he fell down a hole prior to last week’s winter storm.
Roy Lee Reid, Jr., 44, of Madison, has been charged with felony obstruction of justice.
According to the sheriff’s office, at 2:20 p.m. on Jan. 21, 911 dispatchers received a call from a family member of Reid.
The family member said Reid had sent a text saying he had fallen into a hole in a wooded area near some railroad tracks around Dodge Loop. Text messages sent from Reid also stated he had injured his leg.
Search and rescue efforts by the sheriff’s office, Rockingham County Emergency Management and other emergency services personnel began shortly after the text was received.
More than 20 agencies and many volunteers searched for Reid. The search went on for about 15 hours and thousands of dollars were invested in the operation.
Emergency workers who were in contact with Reid through the help of family members–urged him to call 911 so they could plot his location more accurately. Sheriff Sam Page said even though Reid made calls and sent messages to relatives, Reid claimed his phone was wet and it would not let him dial 911.
Rescue workers were forced to suspend the search for Reid Friday morning around 5 a.m. as the winter storm set into the area.
Later Friday morning, Reid contacted a friend and said he had managed to climb out of the 25-foot hole. He asked the friend to pick him up at the end of Kight Road in Stokes County.
According the Rockingham Sheriff’s Department, Reid was unable to show search and rescue workers where the hole he claimed he fell into was located. Investigators still have not located this hole.
Investigators now believe he fabricated the story. Page said more details will be released in court to show Reid mislead investigators.
“This particular operation placed a drain on our volunteers, our fire rescue, response capabilities. And what bothers me is that if in the event there was an actual emergency, how readily would these services have been available?” Page said.
Reid was placed in the Rockingham County Jail under a $10,000 secured bond. He is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 15.