UPDATE: Body found in Roanoke River Wednesday night confirmed to be Brent Gibson

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Pictured: Brent Gibson (Photo Courtesy: AWARE Foundation)

UPDATE 11:21 a.m. Thursday: The medical examiner has released a cause of death for Brent Gibson, whose body was found in the Roanoke River Wednesday evening.

According to the medical examiner, the cause of death is blunt force trauma of the chest and drowning. The manner of death has been ruled as suicide. 

Nicky Bowyer, a cousin of Brent Gibson, released the following statement:

It’s hard to put into words the gratitude we feel for the outpouring of support we received during the two weeks Brent was missing. Complete strangers, along with friends, helped search for Brent, donated food and drinks, or simply stopped by to offer a kind word or prayer. We’d like to thank the many organizations who helped with search efforts, including AEP, AWARE Foundation, Bedford County Fire and Rescue, Bedford County Sheriff’s Office, Bedford Militia, Blue Ridge Bloodhounds, Hardy Volunteer Fire Department, Missing Pieces Network, Roanoke County Fire and Rescue, Roanoke County Swift Water Rescue Team, Scruggs Fire and Rescue Dive Team, Smith Mountain Lake Dive Team, Virginia Conservation Police, Virginia State Police, and Virginia State Police Dive Team. Most of all we’d like to thank “our” rangers from US Park Service Law Enforcement. Jim, Dan, Zach, Steve, and Shane were there for us to help us laugh when we wanted to cry, bring clarity to the situation, let us scream when we felt helpless, and to assure us that they wouldn’t give up until Brent was home.

Nicky Bowyer, family member

UPDATE 8:40 p.m.: Authorities have confirmed the recovery of Brent Gibson’s body in the Roanoke River two weeks after his vehicle was found.

The National Park Service, along with the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office, recovered Gibson’s body near Rutrough Point on the Roanoke River on Wednesday, March 17.

According to the National Park Service, 26-year-old Gibson was last known to be at the Roanoke River Overlook, which is where his vehicle was discovered on March 3. 


BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — According to the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office, a body was pulled from the lake in the Vinton area of Bedford County on Wednesday.

“Due to the nature of the call, the scene was turned over to the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources Conservation Police and Law Enforcement Rangers with the National Park Service for further investigation,” Bedford County Sheriff Mike Miller said.

At this time, there is no word on the body’s identification.

WFXR News is working to learn more about the situation.

Stay with WFXR News for updates.

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