MARION, NC -- A somber procession escorted the body of slain US Forest Service officer Jason Crisp home to Marion in McDowell County Thursday afternoon.
An autopsy was performed on Crisp in Winston-Salem where he was taken after he was shot and killed Wednesday in Burke County during a manhunt for Troy David Whisnant.
Besides being in the Forest Service, Crisp still served as a part-time reserve deputy with the McDowell Sheriff's Office.
A hearse carrying his body, escorted by dozens of police cars with flashing lights, passed slowly in front of the Sheriff's office building in Marion.
Staff members came outside in the cold and as the hearse came to a momentary stop at the door, they offered a final salute.
Sheriff Dudley Greene remembered Crisp, first as a full time deputy prior to joining the Forest Service and later his desire to continue to serve as a reserve deputy who was always accompanied by his tracking dog Maros.
Said Dudley, "It wasn't hard to imagine Jason getting to that scene, and he and Marcos getting their equipment and hitting the woods in search of a fugitive."
Governor Pat McCrory made the trip out from Raleigh to meet with some of the other officers who took part in the manhunt that finally ended with Whisnant being shot and killed by police.
McCrory praised the officers and said their actions had likely saved other lives.
Crisp and his family had recently moved from a quiet street in Marion and were planning to build a home nearby.
Sheriff Green called Crisp one of the best trackers in the state and said he had done his job right up to the end.
"Although it didn't turn out the way we would have liked, he found the man yesterday," he said.
A Facebook page has been created to honor the fallen officer.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the victims of yesterday’s tragic events in Burke County, especially U.S. Forest Service Officer Jason Crisp and his service dog. I also want to thank our first responders and law enforcement officers for their courage and valor in responding to these devastating events. Ann and I will continue to pray for the victims and their families as they deal with this horrible situation,” McCrory said.