Human remains found in Burke County were those of 35-year-old man


Walter Edward Shirey IV
Walter Edward Shirey IV

A human skull, a finger and several bones found by a hunter last month in Burke County belonged to a man who had been living in a makeshift camp on the shore near Lake James, officials say.

The remains belonging to 35-year-old Walter Edward Shirey IV were found on March 16 near the Lake James spillway. Shirey’s last known address was in Harrisburg, Penn..

Officials say hunters and their dogs discovered the skull.

More than a month before the finding, on Feb. 5, a report was filed that Shirey had not been seen in several weeks.

Dental records were obtained from Shirey’s family and sent to the North Carolina State Medical Examiner’s Office to be identified. On Friday, the medical examiner confirmed the remains belonged to Shirey. Based on information gathered during the investigation, officials say no foul play is suspected.

Officials say it is likely that animals scattered the remains.

The State Bureau of Investigation assisted in the case.