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Search for missing person leads to discovery of human remains in Macon County

WLOS Asheville/Greenville logo WLOS Asheville/Greenville 5/22/2022 Kari Barrows
Search for missing person leads to discovery of human remains in Macon County
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An investigation into a missing person from Western North Carolina has led authorities to the discovery of human remains.

Caption: Search for missing person leads to discovery of human remains in Macon County

The Macon County Sheriff's Office says a missing person report was filed on Friday, May 20 with the department after a woman said she hadn't seen her sister in several weeks.

Macon County detectives worked with the family member and the Rabun County Sheriff’s Office attempting to locate the missing person and those who may have associated with her. The investigation eventually lead detectives to two specific areas of Macon County, North Carolina.

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“Based on credible information, two locations were considered to be possible crime scenes and meticulous searches would be conducted by our team," Macon County Sheriff Robert L. Holland said in a press release Saturday evening. "The first crime scene was a location where the missing person was last seen alive and the second is where the missing person may currently be located.” 

Both areas were secured and the sheriff's office called in the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) for additional assistance. Officials say on Friday evening, Macon County detectives, SBI agents and the District Attorney's Office executed search warrants at the two locations. Members of the Otto Fire Department and the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office also assisted.

The sheriff's office says Christopher Shields, of Otto, North Carolina, was identified as a person of interest and was located, interviewed and released as the investigation continued. After further interviews, Shields became the prime suspect in the investigation, officials say. Rabun County Sheriff’s Office detained Shields during a traffic stop where he was the passenger in a vehicle entering into Rabun County, Georgia. This traffic stop was a collaborate effort by detectives between Macon and Rabun County Sheriff’s Offices.

Shields was later formally charged with kidnapping. He remains in the custody of Rabun County Detention Center pending extradition back to Macon County. 

"Additional charges will be filed at the appropriate time and will continue to keep our District Attorney informed on our investigation," the sheriff's office said in a release.

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“While we would like to provide more details, our investigation remains a very active investigation," Sheriff Holland said in Saturday's release. "Investigators continue to gather evidence and conduct additional interviews. We are no longer treating this investigation as a Missing Person case. We have recovered human remains and we believe these remains will eventually be identified as our original missing person. This investigation is now being conducted as a homicide investigation. We are not assuming the identity of the remains that we have and will do all we can to identify them as quickly as possible. Meanwhile we will continue to conduct a thorough investigation. Positive identification and cause of death may take some time but I am confident detectives will find these answers and the answers to many more questions.”

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact our Criminal Investigations Unit.

  • Contact C.I.D Detective Robbie Younce - (828) 349-2268
  • Anonymous Tips can be called into CRIME-STOPPERS HOTLINE (828)349-2600 or you can submit tips by downloading our MCSO App on your iPhone or Android by going to the App Store.

The Rabun County Sheriff's Office took to social media on Saturday to commend deputies' work in this investigation, calling it a "great example of two agencies working together to make both communities safer despite the challenges of working across not only county lines but state lines as well."

This is a developing story. Check back at WLOS.com for more updates as they are released.

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