Continuing Coverage: Body of missing Greenville firefighter found in Tar River


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Greenville Fire-Rescue officials say they now have some closure after finding the body of a missing colleague on the Tar River.

Crews found 24-year-old Gary Cox’s body in the river Tuesday morning, nearly two days after he disappeared. 

Greenville firefighters, police, city employees, and people in the community joined together to pay their respects to Gary Cox Tuesday morning. 

They lined up along 5th and Greene Streets as a somber procession passed.

An ambulance carried Cox’s body through uptown, then on to Vidant Medical Center. 

You could certainly feel the emotions on this very difficult day for family, friends and colleagues. 

Cox was boating with some co-workers on the Tar River Sunday, they stopped to swim.

Then Cox disappeared in the river.

This loss is also taking a toll on members of the Red Oak Fire Department, where Cox volunteered. 

“Gary was a wonderful man, he had a love for the community and he had a servant’s heart. He just had a warm personality and had friends no matter where he went,” says Chief George Darden.

Greenville fire rescue Chief Eric Griffin says there is a lesson in Cox’s death on the tar river.

Anyone can fall victim to the river’s strong, shifting currents, so anyone who goes in the water should be careful.

It’s clear to see how tight knit of a group GFR, is and how many people will miss Gary Cox. 

Greenville Police are taking over the investigation into Cox’s death. 

They say it’s another important part of getting closure for Cox’s family.

Stay with WNCT for more updates.


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) 9OYS is continuing to follow the search of a swimmer presume drowned in the Tar River.

Crews are back on the scene along the Tar River to continue searching for one of their own. 

Other agencies are helping with the search, including NC Wildlife, the Bunyan and Hertford fire departments, and the Sidney Dive Team. 

Currently, the search is being conducted along 264.

Greenville police are working to divert traffic for emergency vehicles.

GFR Chief, Eric Griffin says, “every one of us is concerned I believe that right now we are, we’re running somewhat on adrenaline because we do really want to find him, we want to be able to bring closure to his family and also to try and help them as well as we move to the next phase.”

On Sunday around 4 p.m., he went for a swim with one other person and never made it back to shore.

The identity of that employee has not been released.

The family has been notified.

A spokesperson for Greenville Fire/Rescue says crews will continue searching as long as it’s safe.

A search was conducted near Hasting’s Ford.

Greenville Police was helping to divert traffic in the area.

This is a developing story. Stay with WNCT for more updates.

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