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Remains found by jogger identified as missing Stedman man


Human remains that were found by a jogger on a dirt path in woods last week have been identified as a Stedman man who had been missing since January, the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner notified the Sheriff’s Office on Friday that the remains were those of  46-year-old Robert Fortner, who had been missing since Jan. 17. 

The remains were found March 17 on the 2700 block of Evans Dairy Road. Deputies were dispatched to the area around 6:45 p.m. in reference to a death investigation. The remains had been found by a jogger, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Fortner's cause of death is unknown at this time, the Sheriff’s Office said in the release Saturday.

Detectives are still trying to locate two men who allegedly were seen driving Fortner’s 2009 red Toyota Camry shortly after he disappeared. 

The Sheriff’s Office said detectives want to talk with 24-year-old Jeffery Edward Beal Jr. of Fayetteville and 31-year-old Ryan Ashley Stewart of Fayetteville.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call Sgt. J. McLeod at 910-677-5563 or Crimestoppers at 910-483-TIPS (8477).

Cumberland County, Sheriff's Office, missing man