By Richard Rourk
A body found in a wrecked vehicle in a remote area of Unicoi County is believed to be a missing Washington County man.
The Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department received a call from vacationers renting a cabin on Spivey Mountain on Monday, June 29, to report making the discovery.
Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley said that the vacationers had taken a walk below the cabin along Spivey Creek when they discovered a wrecked vehicle in the creek with a deceased male still buckled into the seat on the driver’s side.
“The vehicle had gone over a steep embankment from Highway 19-W and traveled several hundred yards to the creek,” Hensley said. “The vehicle was concealed by greenery and underbrush, and could not have been seen by passing motorists.”
Hensley confirmed that the vehicle was registered to Nicholas Rios Todd, 33, Jonesborough.
“The vehicle was registered to a person that had been reported missing to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office on June 2,” Hensley said. “We notified Washington County Sheriff’s Office and their investigators came to the scene. We also notified Tennessee Highway Patrol and TBI which was also dispatched to the scene. Due to the remote location and steep terrain, I requested eradication assistance from the Unicoi County Search and Rescue Team.”
Hensley said the body believed to be Todd was taken to East Tennessee State University’s Quillen College of Medicine for autopsy.
“Myself along with Washington County investigators went and notified the parents,” Hensley said. “Washington County investigators have been in contact with the parents on a daily basis since the person was reported missing. Our hearts and prayers go out to this family. I want to thank everyone that helped in this tragic incident and for bringing some closure to this family.”