Authorities identify body of black male found floating in Watauga River by fisherman

By Julie Fann
star staff

Authorities have identified the body of a black male that was found floating in the Watauga River near Sycamore Shoals Road in Elizabethton Sunday afternoon as that of Andrel Anderson, 34, 803 Exum St., Johnson City, according to the Carter County Sheriff's Department.
   "We're waiting for a preliminary report on the autopsy that will determine the cause of death before we move forward with the investigation," Carter County Sheriff John Henson said Monday evening. "We do know that the body was placed in the river on Saturday morning just before daylight."
   A fisherman located the body down river from the Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter, 253 Sycamore Shoals Road, at approximately 1:36 p.m. Sunday.
   Henson said he could not release any information on the cause of death or any possible suspects in the case until his office receives an official autopsy report from the Quillen College of Medicine, Johnson City.
   The finding follows a similar incident of another body that was found by kayakers in the river in Boone, N.C. last Wednesday and that was identified as that of 39-year-old Johnny Kurt Harmon, of Butler. Sheriff Henson said it is not known yet if the two incidents are connected in any way.
   The CCSD identified Anderson Sunday as being approximately six feet, one-inch tall and weighing about 200 pounds. He was wearing a tee-shirt, wind pants, and a jacket when he was found floating in the river. He also had a one-inch scar on his left rib cage.