Missing Man’s Body Recovered From Pond

Photo by John Payne

COATS – The body of a missing 39 year-old man was recovered Tuesday morning from a pond not far from the Harnett-Johnston County line. Around 8:05am today (Tuesday), the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office responded to Massad Pond Road, off Fairground Road, to a reported body in a pond.

First responders from Harnett and Johnston counties located the body face down and approximately 15-20 feet off the bank of the pond.

Authorities said the individual was identified as Otis Ray Covington of Fairground Road, Coats. Detectives and the local Medical Examiner found no visible injuries to Covington that would have caused his death.

The sheriff’s office said on the night of Sunday, September 4th, Mr. Covington was transported to Betsy Johnson Hospital. He was reported missing Monday, September 5th to the Dunn Police Department.

His body will be transported to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy to determine the cause of death. His next of kin has been notified.


  1. So who did the transporting to the hospital the night before? Harnett County Sheriff’s office? Was he in custody or something?

  2. Did he leave AMA from the hospital? If so who picked him up? Hospitals have cameras so this should be easy to determine.

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