Man’s body located

Published 3:06 pm Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The body of a man who went missing during Hurricane Matthew has been discovered, according to a city press release.

Derek Cason, 53, was on his way to work at McDonald’s at the corner of North Main Street and Constance Road. He was dropped off about 5 a.m. Sunday on the other side of the Kimberly Bridge. At that time, the bridge was covered by the Nansemond River, swollen to more than five feet above flood stage after the storm had dropped torrential rain for hours.

“He was trying to get to work on time,” his sister, Delicia Barber, said on Monday. “He’s so dedicated, he would go through sleet and hail.”

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The family learned around 6 p.m. Sunday that McDonald’s had been closed the entire day. They had thought he was working overtime. That was when they reported him missing.

The Suffolk Police Department’s Marine Patrol discovered Cason’s body in a marshy inlet area behind the 800 block of Normandy Drive just after noon on Wednesday. The area is around a couple of bends in the river from the Kimberly area and is directly behind and across the river from Lowe’s on North Main Street.

Cason was born and raised in New Jersey and worked at a McDonald’s there for about 15 years before moving to Suffolk, his sister said on Monday. He has been working at this McDonald’s for about three years, she said.

“He’s very easygoing and laid back,” Barber said. “He’s kind and gentle. He never bothers anybody. He’s very quiet. He loved working at McDonald’s.”

Cason had a “diminished mental capacity,” the city press release stated.

The city said searchers worked by boat and helicopter on Monday as well as Wednesday.

City spokeswoman Diana Klink said the death will be reported as hurricane-related to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.