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After days of searching, missing Charlotte cyclist found dead, police say

Firefighters gathered at Charlotte Christian School on Sardis Road to search for a missing man who left his south Charlotte home to go on a bike ride.
Firefighters gathered at Charlotte Christian School on Sardis Road to search for a missing man who left his south Charlotte home to go on a bike ride. Charlotte Fire Department

A south Charlotte man who’s been missing for nearly a week was found dead Tuesday, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said during a news conference.

The body of Charles Mathis Pfeiler, 48, was found shortly before 10 a.m. off a trail near Boyce Park, officials said.

He was last seen the early evening of July 18 when he biked away from his home on Ashton Gate Drive, near Sardis Road and Charlotte Christian School in south Charlotte.

An investigation into his death is underway, but officials do not suspect foul play. An official cause of death has not been released.

In a Facebook post Tuesday, his son Thomas Pfeiler said his father died by suicide the day he went missing.

Charles Pfeiler suffered from severe depression throughout his life, his son wrote. The family hopes to reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues, according to the post.

“While we grieve our loss, we know our dad loved us, and that he would want us to encourage anyone struggling with mental illness to seek treatment and not wait,” Thomas Pfeiler wrote.

Thousands of people shared another post from Thomas Pfeiler’s Facebook earlier this week, one that included his dad’s missing person poster. Hundreds commented offering assistance and prayers.

People delivered pizzas, Clif bars and other snacks to the search crew, according to photos posted on Twitter by the fire department.

On Facebook before his father was found, Thomas Pfeiler said at least 40 firefighters were involved.

The formal search was repeatedly interrupted by storms and bad weather, the fire department said. The search was done by Charlotte Fire, CMPD and Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation.

Jane Wester: 704-358-5128, @janewester
LaVendrick Smith: 704-358-5101, @LaVendrickS
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