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AWARE Foundation: Remains of missing Pittsylvania County man found

AWARE Foundation: Remains of missing Pittsylvania County man found

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Human remains discovered Wednesday in Pittsylvania County were those of a 25-year-old who was reported missing in late July, the nonprofit AWARE Foundation reports.

The Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office, however, would not confirm the identity of the body discovered.

"At this time the human remains have been sent to the medical examiner's office for identification as well as cause and manner of death," Devin Taylor, an investigator with the sheriff's office, wrote in a news release late Thursday evening.

The release did not specify where the vehicle was located or offer any other details.

However, the AWARE Foundation, a nonprofit that works with missing persons cases, posted on social media that the body of a missing Pittsylvania County man was found Wednesday.

"It is with great sadness we must inform the public that Zachary Pruitt's remains were found yesterday," a tweet from the foundation read Thursday. "His remains are with the state medical examiner. At this time the family has more questions than they do answers."

Pruitt, a resident of Pittsylvania County, was reported missing in late July. He was last seen at Frank’s restaurant in Tightsqueeze, the sheriff's office previously reported, and usually drove a green 2006 Pontiac G6.

When asked about the foundation report and the location where the body was discovered, Taylor said the sheriff's office would not comment about information from other sources. 

"At this time I would not be able to provide any further than what was released in our press release earlier this evening," Taylor wrote in an email to the Register & Bee late Thursday evening. 

A GoFundMe page was established Thursday in memory of Pruitt.

"On July 28th our brother Zach went missing. Unexpectedly, his body was found on September 9th, 2020 leaving his family and friends completely heartbroken," read the page organized by Rikki Pruitt. "At only 25 years of age we are all mourning the sudden loss of our brother who was a friend to anyone he met along the way."

The page seeks donations to help with funeral, memorial and travel expenses.

According to an obituary, Pruitt graduated Chatham High School in 2013, where he played football and was on the wrestling team for four years. A memorial service is planned Sept. 18.

Taylor said an update would be forthcoming "once we have a finalized report from the medical examiner's office."

"Our office wishes to thank the numerous agencies who assisted with this investigation thus far, the Virginia State Police, Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Angel Search and Rescue, the Pittsylvania County Office of Public Safety, the Pittsylvania County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office and the men and women of the Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office," Taylor wrote in the news release.

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