Smokies conducts search for missing man

Rangers at Great Smoky Mountains National Park are continuing to search for a Cary man who was reported missing April 27.

The park is asking that anybody who may have seen the subject, Christopher Lee Cessna, 45, in the last three weeks, whether in the park or elsewhere, contact rangers.

Cessna had been reported missing to the Cary Police Department, which issued a Missing Person Report, but it was not sent to the park, because family members had no reason to suspect that he would go there.

Rangers learned that Cessna may be in the park when they checked the license plate of a vehicle that had been parked at Newfound Gap Parking area for some time and discovered it was his. The car didn’t arouse earlier notice because the Appalachian Trail crosses the park at Newfound Gap, and it is common for vehicles to be left there for weeks at a time by hikers.

Park officials report that Cessna had been despondent and that a handgun he owned could not be located at his residence, so they are concerned about the possibility that he may have planned to take his own life.

Cessna is 45 years old, white, 5 feet 10 inches tall, and weighs 230 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes and a fair complexion.


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