Authorities in Haywood County have ruled out foul play in the case of a man previously reported missing, whose body was discovered beneath a duplex in Clyde. Deputies from the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office responded to a “suspicious situation” at 167 James Street in Clyde on January 26, 2024, following a maintenance worker’s report of a foul smell. Human remains were found in the crawlspace of the duplex.
The deceased has been identified as 26-year-old Joshua Lee Wayne Seagraves, reported missing from Clyde, NC, last seen on October 14, 2023. The sheriff’s office confirmed Seagraves’ identity on January 29, stating that he had been missing since October 29. During a press conference on February 6, Sheriff Bill Wilke disclosed that probation and parole officers were seeking Seagraves for a post-release check at the time of his disappearance.
An investigation was launched, including multiple interviews and home checks by probation officers. The discovery of Seagraves’ remains in the crawlspace indicated that he had been there since October 2023. Sheriff Wilke noted that personal items, including Seagraves’ wallet, were found at the scene, alongside drug-related paraphernalia such as an empty baggie, straw, lighter, and a syringe with clear liquid. The sheriff expressed condolences to Seagraves’ family and emphasized the commitment to addressing drug-related issues in the county.
In response to questions, Sheriff Wilke mentioned a pending toxicology report, acknowledging challenges due to the condition of Seagraves’ body. Despite the uncertainty, he asserted that there was no indication of foul play. Photographs of the scene and discussions with investigators led the sheriff to believe that Seagraves’ death occurred without external involvement, with the crawlspace being resealed from the inside. The sheriff concluded that the available evidence suggested no possibility of another person being involved in Seagraves’ demise.