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Missing retired firefighter found dead in W.Va. national park

George Gross was last heard from when he telephoned a family member to say he was interested in hiking in or around New River Gorge


By Tony LaRussa
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

FAYETTE COUNTY, W.Va. — The body of a Pittsburgh man missing since Friday in the New River Gorge National River in West Virginia has been found.

George Andrew Gross, 56, was found near the national park's Diamond Point area, park rangers reported late Tuesday.

Gross was in Beckley, W.Va., on Jan. 12 when he telephoned a family member to say he was interested in hiking in or around New River Gorge, which is about 217 miles from Pittsburgh.

That telephone call was the last contact the former city firefighter had with family members, who reported him missing over the weekend.

Multiple search and rescue teams, including a K9 a unit, combed the trails and cliffs in search of Gross, according to the park service.

Gross' vehicle was found late Monday night at the Fern Creek trailhead.

The cause and manner of his death is still being investigated.

“Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Mr. Gross,” said Lizzie Watts, the park's superintendent. “We are glad to be able to help bring a small amount of closure to this part, and our thoughts are with them as they move through the difficult grieving process.”

Copyright 2018 The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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