RALEIGH — Marloe Gholson was searching for a friend whom he had reported missing more than a month earlier when he happened upon the man’s body alongside a greenway trail in South Raleigh on Saturday, he told a 911 dispatcher.
Gholson, of Raleigh, told the dispatcher that his friend, Regynald Jose Brown, was at the end of a broad concrete culvert just off the Walnut Creek Trail. Brown’s body had been stuffed head first into a trashcan that had toppled over and was nearly buried in sand.
“It’s my first time walking up on a body like this, so I’m nervous,” Gholson told the dispatcher, according to a recording made public Wednesday by the Raleigh Police Department.
Investigators announced Wednesday that Brown, 37, was the victim of a homicide. They have not disclosed how he died. No arrests have been made, said spokesman Jim Sughrue.
Gholson, Jacqueline Denise Adams, 40, of Raleigh, and another friend were looking for Brown when they found his remains in a wooded area just west of Hammond Road, near the Interstate 40 interchange.
Gholson and Adams, the mother of Brown’s daughter, reported him missing on Nov. 20. They said they had not seen him since Nov. 4, according to a police missing persons report made public Wednesday.
Brown was last seen at Gholson’s home in the 800 block of Sardis Drive, about three miles from where his body was found.
Gholson told the 911 dispatcher that he discovered Brown’s body just off a greenway trail near a bridge over Walnut Creek where construction workers were installing water pipes. Gholson told the dispatcher that Brown was homeless and that he, his wife and a friend had decided to search for him.
Construction workers at the site Wednesday pointed to a patch of nearby woods, not far from the Walnut Creek Trail, where Brown lived.
A series of paths in the woods gave way to a campsite where a light-brown tent had been erected. Someone had draped clothes on nearby bushes. Deodorant, shaving razors, mouthwash and toothpaste were scattered at the tent’s entrance. The Bible and another book, “Bible Promises for Tough Times,” were among the items.
Adams told the dispatcher that the trio had been searching for about 45 minutes when they walked through a large culvert and crossed a bridge. She told the dispatcher that she did not see Brown’s body, but that Gholson told her Brown was “beyond help.”
“They say the body has been there awhile,” she said.
Gholson and Adams were unavailable for comment Wednesday.
Investigators are “particularly interested in speaking with anyone who saw anything suspicious in that immediate area during the past several weeks,” Sughrue said.
Police ask anyone with information about the case to call Raleigh Crime Stoppers at 919-834-4357 or to go to the Crime Stoppers website at www.raleighcrimestoppers.org for instructions on reporting a tip online or by text message.