NC firefighter recovered from river is honored in procession through town

North Carolina news

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Greenville Fire-Rescue officials say they now have some closure after finding the body of a missing colleague on the Tar River.

Crews found 24-year-old Gary Cox’s body in the river Tuesday morning, nearly two days after he disappeared. 

Greenville firefighters, police, city employees, and people in the community joined together to pay their respects to Gary Cox Tuesday morning. 

They lined up along 5th and Greene Streets as a somber procession passed.

An ambulance carried Cox’s body through uptown, then on to Vidant Medical Center. 

It was a very difficult day for family, friends and colleagues. 

Cox was boating with some co-workers on the Tar River Sunday when they stopped to swim.

Then Cox disappeared in the river.

This loss is also taking a toll on members of the Red Oak Fire Department, where Cox volunteered. 

“Gary was a wonderful man, he had a love for the community and he had a servant’s heart. He just had a warm personality and had friends no matter where he went,” says Chief George Darden.

Greenville fire rescue Chief Eric Griffin says there is a lesson in Cox’s death on the Tar River.

Anyone can fall victim to the river’s strong, shifting currents, so anyone who goes in the water should be careful.

It’s clear to see how tight knit of a group GFR, is and how many people will miss Gary Cox. 

Greenville Police are taking over the investigation into Cox’s death. They say it’s another important part of getting closure for Cox’s family.

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