DEEP GAP — The Watauga County Sheriff’s Office received a call in reference to the discovery of a body on Jan. 2 that was later determined to be that of a Deep Gap man that went missing in December.
Officials were notified on Dec. 6 that 31-year-old Christopher Charles Maze had been last seen two days prior on foot in the area of Orchard Creek Road in Deep Gap. On Dec. 30, WCSO Major Kelly Redmon had said that there had been countless man hours spent in the investigation to locate Maze, including six days of ground searches in addition to the use of drones and other investigative efforts.
According to WCSO, deputies responded to the Jan. 2 call and determined that the body was that of Maze. Maze’s body was discovered in a heavily wooded area off of Patton Ridge Road in the Deep Gap community — roughly one mile from the Orchard Creek Road area where he was last seen.
Redmon said on Jan. 5 that investigators were at the medical examiner’s office that day for the autopsy. A definitive answer about the nature of Maze’s death will be available after autopsy results; however, Redmon said investigators on the scene didn’t give him any indication that foul play was involved. He added that the incident report did not indicate that Maze had any known medical issues.
“On Behalf of the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and all of the other agencies that helped in the search and investigation, we express our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Christopher Maze,” WCSO stated. “This is a tragic event and we are committed to providing support and assistance to the family.”
Assisting WCSO in the search for Maze were the following agencies: Appalachian State University Police Department, Boone Police Department, Ashe County Sheriff’s Office, N.C. State Bureau of Investigation, Johnson County Tennessee Sheriff’s Office, Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office and Watauga Emergency Management.