Chathamite found dead after reported missing this morning

CN+R STAFF REPORTS
Posted 12/23/20

Thomas Kelly, 88, of Chapel Hill, was found dead today just hours after having been reported missing at 4 a.m. by his wife when she found him absent from their Governors Drive home.

Kelly was …

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Chathamite found dead after reported missing this morning

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Posted

Thomas Kelly, 88, of Chapel Hill, was found dead today just hours after having been reported missing at 4 a.m. by his wife when she found him absent from their home near Governors Drive.

Kelly was known to be an early riser who frequented the area around his home. The discovery of his body, thus, came as a shock.

“Our hearts go out to the Kelly family, including his wife and loved ones, friends and neighbors who will undoubtedly miss his presence, especially this time of year,” said Sheriff Mike Roberson, who was on scene when Mr. Kelly’s body was located. “It is a heartbreaking outcome for all involved.”

First responders and staff members from the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, North Chatham Fire Department, Chatham County Emergency Management, Lee County Emergency Services, Orange County Sheriff’s Office and Wake County REDS (Rescue Extrication & Delivery Specialist) Team of Garner, NC, quickly assembled resources and began a search for Mr. Kelly after his wife called 911.

The circumstances of Mr. Kelly’s passing do not appear to be suspicious nor is any foul play suspected. His death was confirmed by a medical examiner.

“We would like to express our sincere thanks to the first responders and specialized units who reported to the scene, as well as members of the public and media who helped spread the word and aid with the search,” Roberson says. “It was a true community effort in a time of need.”

The family has requested respect and privacy during their time of grief.

“It is absolutely not the outcome we had hoped for,” said Lieutenant Sara Pack of the Chatham County Sheriff's Office in a press release, “but I appreciate all of you who reached out this morning to offer assistance and coverage for the search.”

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Mr. Kelly and his wife lived on Governors Drive.  They lived in an adjacent neighborhood.

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