05/07/09 — Officials confirm body found at Cliffs

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Officials confirm body found at Cliffs

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on May 7, 2009 1:46 PM

SEVEN SPRINGS -- The body of a 21-year-old Goldsboro man who drowned Sunday night came to the surface on Wednesday morning, ending a three-day search, authorities said.

Wayne County Sheriff Carey Winders confirmed that the body of Brian Matthew Davis was found at the Cliffs of the Neuse State Park.

"They said it was found about 300 yards beyond where he was last reported seen," Winders said.

State parks spokesman Charlie Peek said today the search crews who had returned to look for Davis sighted his body before starting work on Wednesday morning.

According to Peek and Sheriff's Office Capt. Tom Effler, Davis was found sometime between 10:30 and 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Peek said he was not sure what the search crews' plan was for Wednesday morning, but that they had not yet resorted to dragging the river bed.

"They had not gotten to a dragging situation yet, I do know that," he said.

Sheriff's Office Support Services Capt. Daryl Overton, who supervised the search on Wednesday, was not immediately available for comment this morning.

The state parks spokesman said Davis' death was a tragic situation, but again used the tale as a cautionary reminder about safe swimming at state parks.

Davis and the five other men who swam with him were in violation of park rules by swimming in the Neuse River. A female who was with the group on Sunday night did not enter the river, he said.

Although walking trails at the Cliffs of the Neuse in Seven Springs run beside the river, the area is not marked as a designated swimming area.

The park does have a swimming area that will open soon, which has set hours and is staffed by a lifeguard, Peek said.

"It's a small pond, it's right there as you enter the park, it's to the right -- it's the first right turn," he said. "I think it has lifeguards on duty all of the time when it's open, and it usually opens around Memorial Day. It's a much more pleasant place to cool off in the water anyway."