A homeowner in Sandy Ridge made a very unpleasant discovery on his property on Thursday night, Apr. 28. Gary Vincent Steele found a dead body near his home at 1233 Carter Road. That body has been identified as Mary Jane Sands Huttar, 47. She had lived at 1233 Carter Road, Sandy Ridge, for about four months and had been listed as a missing person earlier in the day on Apr. 28.
When Steele called Stokes County Emergency Communications shortly after 7:40 p.m. on that Thursday, the Stokes County Sheriff’s Office sent out deputies to investigate. The deputies talked with Steele who subsequently led them to the deceased body which was lying at the edge of the woods beside his home.
When the deputies saw the corpse, they called for a crime scene search warrant. This document was prepared and approved. The next step was to call the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. The SBI is presently helping the Stokes County Sheriff’s Office with the investigation of this case.
That was the second time on Thursday that local deputies had visited the Steele property. Earlier that day, at about 2:37 p.m., they had been dispatched there to investigate a missing person’s report. That report had been filed by the sister of Steele. Steele himself had been out of town at the time and had asked his sister to check on Huttar.
Although the timing of the two incidents would suggest that the missing person and the dead body were one in the same, no names could be released until the official identification report came from the medical examiner. That word finally came on Tuesday, May 3.
“We are still awaiting toxicology reports and final autopsy results before a cause of death is stated,” stated Chief Deputy Craig Carico of the Stokes County Sheriff’s Office. The investigation is currently in progress.