The department said the man was 53-year-old David Ladley Swanson of North Carolina. His body was taken to East Tennessee State University’s Quillen College of Medicine in Johnson City for an autopsy, where a medical examiner said the preliminary cause of death for Swanson was cardiac arrest.
The sheriff’s department reported that the body was discovered around 2 p.m. in an area about three miles from Carvers Gap. That area is extremely popular with hikers, especially on the weekends.
The Search and Rescue Team of the Carter County Rescue Squad was activated and took all-terrain vehicles to the site to recover and transport the body to an ambulance. Night had fallen when the recovery team executed the mission.
Team member John Burleson saId Swanson’s route had taken him from U.S. Highway 19E in Roan Mountain northbound on the trail.