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Coroner: Missing man found dead in Carolina Forest

After emergency crews searched most of the day Thursday for a missing 78-year-old man, the Horry County Coroner Robert Edge said Edward Smith was found dead.

There is no suspected foul play and there will be no autopsy.

The search was suspended at about 2:30 p.m., according to county officials. Smith went missing about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday near the Carolina Forest Recreation Center, Horry County police said.

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Edward Smith Provided by Horry County Police Department

Crews started looking for Smith Wednesday night, then ramped up their efforts Thursday morning as more agencies joined the mission. Horry County Fire Rescue officials said they were working alongside Horry County police with Myrtle Beach Fire Department personnel assisting.

They searched near the library and recreation center in Carolina Forest near 2254 Carolina Forest Boulevard.

Rick Gibbons, Smith's grandson, was at the scene Thursday morning as crews searched. "We have no idea what has happened as of now. We did a search of the woods last night as well. We're hopeful. We have a lot of hope everything is OK," he said.

Smith lived in the Carolina Forest not far from where he was last spotted, police said.

Authorities say Smith flew his drone in the area Wednesday before he went missing.

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Searchers look for a missing man near the library in Carolina Forest. Hannah Strong hstrong@thesunnews.com

First responders flooded the area to search and a called a helicopter to assist. Spokesman with Horry County Fire Rescue Mark Nugent said the department has been flying drones since early this morning.

"We're hoping we can find him," Nugent said in the morning. "This is a rescue effort."

At one point, police asked that anyone with surveillance cameras in the area of Plantation Lakes or The Farm share the footage with responders.

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