Body found in Pisgah woods identified as missing Burke County man

A body found by hikers in Burke County was identified Thursday as the 56-year-man who family members reported missing on April 19, authorities said.

The body of Richard Dale Triplett of Connelly Springs in Burke County was found in Pisgah National Forest, about three miles from N.C. 181 where Triplett’s car had been found. No signs of physical trauma or foul play were reported, but an autopsy will be performed, investigators said.

Hikers trekking through woods near the base of Steele Creek Falls found the body on Wednesday. The rugged area is hard to reach and investigators had to hike to the spot where the body was found, according to WBTV, the Observer’s news partner.

Relatives had called Triplett’s employer on April 18, and were told he’d called in sick.

A cause of death had not been determined Thursday. The case is still under investigation. Anyone with any information about this case should call the Burke County Sheriff’s Office at 828-764-9505 or the county’s emergency communication center at 828-438-5500.

David Perlmutt