Friend says man missing in gorge found dead

FAYETTE CO., WV (WOAY) –   A search for a missing man ended sadly this morning.

Last night we told you that officials were looking for George Gross.

He’s from Pennsylvania, was last spotted in Beckley and he was believed to be in the New River Gorge area.

Just a short time later however, we were told that Gross was no longer considered missing, and that his vehicle had been found in the gorge area.

This afternoon, a friend of the Gross family told WOAY that he was found dead in that area.

We’re still waiting on official word on how he died.

Here is the news release just in from the National Park Service:

Glen Jean, WV – Search crews have found the body of George Andrew Gross, 56, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania near the Diamond Point area of New River Gorge National River. The cause of death remains under investigation. Gross had been reported missing over the weekend, after he told family members he was planning to hike in or around the park on Friday afternoon and did not contact them afterwards.

Rangers from New River Gorge National River were assisting the West Virginia State Police in the location of Gross. After his truck was found at the Fern Creek trailhead inside the park late Monday night, search operations were concentrated on the trails and cliffs of that area. Other agencies involved in the search included the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit, Fayette County Vertical Rescue Team, Fayetteville Fire Department, and Jan-Care Ambulance Service.

“Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Mr. Gross,” said park Superintendent Lizzie Watts. “We are glad to be able to help bring a small amount of closure to this part, and our thoughts are with them as they move through the difficult grieving process.”

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