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Body of North Carolina resident recovered from lake

SoVaNow.com / September 18, 2013


A body was retrieved from Buggs Island Lake Saturday afternoon, ending a two-day search for a missing North Carolina resident who was last seen boating near Island Creek Dam.

The name of the deceased has not been released.

Around 3 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 13, Merifield Acres resident Russ Messier spied an unoccupied boat with fishing rods visible, traveling continuously in a circular motion on the lake near the mouth of Grassy Creek.

The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office dive team — along with the Lake Gaston Dive Team, Virginia Game & Inland Fisheries officers, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rangers — began a search of the water, while deputies searched nearby boat ramps in hopes of locating the vehicle that belonged to the owner of the boat.

The owner’s vehicle was located at the Island Creek Dam boat ramp on Friday at approximately 5:00 p.m. Shortly thereafter, Sheriff’s deputies and officers with Virginia Game & Inland Fisheries activated their sonar equipment as the search of the lake bottom continued.

Around 9 p.m. Friday, the search was called off, but it resumed Saturday morning. A body, believed to be that of the boat owner, was recovered from the lake nearby the boat around 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Messier said he was told by search personnel that the effort to locate the body was aided by a GPS device the fisherman kept in his boat and attached to his fish finder.

The body has been transported to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Richmond, and property and evidence from the boat was processed by DGIF officers, with the assistance of deputies with the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s office.

Sheriff Bobby Hawkins thanked members of the Mecklenburg County Lifesaving and Rescue Squad in Clarksville who provided food during the search effort.

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