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Human remains discovered by hunter in Burke County identified as man living at campsite

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

Local media outlets report 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, Pennsylvania.

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 State Medical Examiner's Office to be identified. Last Friday, the medical examiner confirmed the remains belonged to Shirey.

Officials say they don't suspect foul play after an investigation.

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