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Police identify body found near Crystal Coast Visitor Center - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Police identify body found near Crystal Coast Visitor Center

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Victim Luther Toms via Carteret County Sheriffs office from a June arrest Victim Luther Toms via Carteret County Sheriffs office from a June arrest
MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. -

A woman feeding ducks made a gruesome discovery on the Crystal Coast waterfront.

Police say she found a man lying dead on the ground at a popular recreational area, the Morehead City boating access area at 3407 Arendell Street.

The woman notified authorities at 10:50 AM.

Police identify the man as 61-year-old Luther Edward Toms of Morehead City. Police say he was lying face down on the grass behind the Crystal Coast Visitor Center.

"This is usually a nice place. People put their boats over here all the time and I've never known for anything such as this to happen," said Elizabeth Ann Gillikin, a Morehead City resident.

Toms was lying partially in the bushes, said Lt. Kelly Guthrie of the Morehead City Police Department.

Police found Toms' driver's license in his wallet. The two big questions on their mind: how did he die, and how did he wind up where he was found?

"It is a crime scene until it is ruled differently," said Lt. Guthrie.

Police say they believe the body had been lying on the ground since Wednesday night.

"I'm thinking maybe a person had a heart attack and that's the only thing I can think of. I hope and pray that's all that it is. It's frightening," said Gillikin.

Gillikin says she walks her dog behind the Crystal Coast Visitor Center all the time. She says she's never seen anything like this.

"I pray for the family of the person, and that they'll be OK," said Gillikin.

Police and firefighters loaded Toms' body into an ambulance. An autopsy will determine how he died. Police have already notified toms' next of kin.

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