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Remains of missing contractor identified

South Boston News / January 17, 2018
Skeletal remains found in Chase City in late November have been positively identified as those of Nicholas Dale Clayton, a 33-year-old Halifax County contractor and graduate of Bluestone High School.

Clayton was reported missing in July by the mother of two of his three children, Ashly Shorts of Nathalie. She said she last spoke with him around 11:41 a.m. on the Tuesday he went missing. According to police reports, Clayton was seen in Chase City around 10:30 p.m. that same day, and was said to be “endangered” and “in need of medication.”

Clayton had family, including a child, living in Chase City, but police have not said if he was in town to visit them. He was reported to be living in Charlotte County at the time of his disappearance, although his obituary lists his address as Meadow Drive in Halifax County.

Chase City Police Chief Jay Jordan said the state medical examiner’s office has not provided a cause of death and his office is still treating the case as a death investigation.

The body was discovered Nov. 28 by Dominion Virginia Power workers who were clearing right-of-way under power lines in Chase City, adjacent to the Dollar General Store on Main Street. The remains were sent to the medical examiner’s office in Richmond for a positive identification and cause of death.

The identification of Clayton’s remains was initially released by The Aware Foundation, a national nonprofit organization that assists with locating missing, endangered and murdered persons.

Founder Kenny Jarels posted the following message on the foundation’s webpage on Sunday: “We have known about the passing of Nicholas Dale Clayton for several days but out of respect for the family we wanted to make sure all the family had been notified …. Please keep the family in your thoughts and prayers.”

Shorts said at the time that Clayton’s disappearance was “out of character” and “very weird.” She made the comments on social media and to media organizations.

Clayton was a graduate of Bluestone High School who worked as a plumber and electrician prior to his death.

In addition to his three children, Tyler Dale Clayton of Chase City and McKayla Ann Clayton and Nathan Eli Clayton, both of Nathalie, he leaves behind his fiancée Amanda Utley, his parents, Terry Dale Clayton of Margarettsville and Donna Dunn Wall of Buffalo Junction, two brothers, James Joseph O’Connor III and wife Danielle, of Roxboro, N.C., and Daniel Tyler Clayton and wife Crystal, of Halifax, and a sister, Kelly Ann Barden and husband Bobby, of Philadelphia, Pa.

A memorial service officiated by Pastor Frankie Reaves will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, January 20, 2018, at McGhee’s Mill Baptist Church in Semora, N.C. His family will receive friends from 1-2 p.m. Saturday at McGhee’s Mill Baptist Church prior to the service. Burial will follow in the Person Memorial Cemetery.

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