A man found dead on the Blue Ridge Parkway was a homicide victim, according to the National Park Service.
Investigators on Thursday identified the victim as Josue Calderon, 33, of Rhode Island.
Details of how he was killed have not been released.
“This incident is being investigated as a homicide. Special Agents from the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch, with support from NPS law enforcement rangers, are leading the investigation,” officials said in a release. “Information gathered by investigators continues to suggest there is no ongoing concern for public safety.”
A traveler on the parkway reported finding the body around 1:15 p.m. Saturday “below the Yadkin Valley Overlook,” officials said. The scenic spot, which includes a parking area, is near Milepost 289.8 in Watauga County, officials said.
Investigators waited until after an autopsy was performed Tuesday to declare the case a homicide, officials said.
Rumors began to spread early in the week that the unidentified body might be that of avid hiker Brian Laundrie, who is wanted by the FBI in connection with the death of his fiancee Gabby Petito. However, the National Park Service released a statement Monday saying the death was not related “to any other ongoing investigations.”
October is one of the busiest months of the year for the parkway, as tourists flock to the two-lane road to see the changing of leaves in the fall. On average, 2 million people drive sections of the road during October, the National Park Service says.
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