• 90°

Chief: Remains confirmed to be missing runner Rick Travis

By Shavonne Walker

shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

SPENCER — Police Chief Mike James confirmed Friday that remains discovered on New Year’s Eve off Long Ferry Road were that of missing runner Rick Travis.

James said his department received notification from the state medical examiner’s office that dental records matched the remains found.

Travis, 66, went missing Feb. 11, 2019, after going for his regular run near his Steeplechase Trail home. Several local agencies, including the Spencer Fire Department, Spencer Police Department, Rowan County Rescue Squad and numerous others in and outside of the county searched for Travis for days.

One of the department’s officers — Sgt. M.N. Brigman — received a call Tuesday from a friend who thought he found human remains at a location where he was hunting. The remains were found along Willow Creek Drive and Long Ferry Road, not far from an area where Travis was last seen — along U.S. 29, Long Ferry Road and on Interstate 85.

The hunter showed Brigman the location, and Brigman confirmed the remains were human. Because the location was outside of Spencer’s municipal limits, the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office collected the remains, which were sent to the state medical examiner’s office.

Speaking on Thursday, Travis’ wife Jean McCoy told the Post that she would be glad to have closure.

“I hope it is Rick,” McCoy told the Post. “I’ve known he was not living. I just felt it. I’m so grateful that a hunter found him and reported it.”

Travis was a former marathoner who ran the same route two to three times a week. The route usually took him about 30 to 35 minutes.

On the day he went missing, McCoy said she grew concerned when he hadn’t returned after an hour. She got into her car and drove his route, but never found him. She then contacted law enforcement. Travis suffered from mild cognitive dysfunction memory loss, his wife told the Post in 2019.

Travis was from Durham but lived in Rowan County for 23 years. Prior to his disappearance, he and McCoy had been married for 38 years. They met while working for the Durham Department of Social Services.

Travis retired from the Rowan Department of Social Services.

Comments

Education

Livingstone College celebrates federal recognition of Juneteenth

College

Wolfpack faces Stanford today in College World Series

Nation/World

Tropical weather lashes Gulf Coast with winds, rain

Nation/World

Girl attacked by bear in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

News

Cooper vetoes bill that would have allowed more to carry guns in churches

News

Two tubers remain missing after going over Dan River dam

Coronavirus

US reaches 300 million vaccine shots in 150 days

BREAKING NEWS

State suspends medical examiner after crash turns to homicide investigation

Crime

Blotter: June 17

Local

Dennis Rivers joins Salisbury Police Department in new homeless advocate position

Cleveland

Rockwell, Faith, Cleveland adopt 2021-22 budgets; East Spencer officials to receive budget next week

Sports

Brind’Amour gets contract extension with Hurricanes, wins coach of year honors

Local

West Rowan grad wins two national masonry competitions

Local

Quotes of the week

Education

Rowan, Kannapolis students below state average for federal aid applications

High School

High school baseball playoffs: Raiders roll past Oak Grove

News

3 dead, 2 still missing after tubers go over Dan River dam

Coronavirus

County, state officials work to increase vaccinations as concern over Delta variant grows

News

Cooper no fan of energy bill

Business

Hexagon Agility to expand Salisbury facility, invest $28 million, create 75 new jobs

Crime

Blotter: Two men rob convenience store at gunpoint

Business

Brewery, second-floor restaurant planned for downtown China Grove

Local

Sonny Allen, former mayor of Salisbury, dies at age 90

Education

RCCC names Student Excellence Award finalists