Body found at Lock and Dam ruled homicide

By  | 

A man's body was found by a fisherman at the Savannah Lock and Dam this morning. The Lock and Dam is part of the Savannah River near Augusta Regional Airport.

Investigators spent most of the morning recovering the body and trying to figure out how it got there. They are now ruling this case a homicide.

Investigators say the fisherman who found the body knew something was wrong when he reeled in a fish with a shirt attached to it.

"As he was reeling it in, he realized it was attached to the body," says Sgt. Richard Roundtree of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office. "The body was found floating face down in the river."

The fisherman then called authorities, and the dive team recovered the body investigators describe as a white male likely in his mid 20's. They say the body appears to have been in the river no more than a day.

The Lock is a popular spot for fishermen and people like John Hutto, who comes to this part of the river to relax during a lunch break.

"I come down here because it's very peaceful and very quiet, all you ever see are fishermen and all terrain vehicle riders, so it was very surprising to me that anything like this would happen, Hutto says.

Since the current flows from the Carolina side into Georgia, Sgt. Roundtree says they're investigating where the body's point of origin was.

And while investigators still have lots of questions, Sgt. Roundtree says he hopes an autopsy will be one of several sources to provide answers.

"The Department of Natural Resources, along with our dive team, Fire, Search and Rescue are conducting searches along the river to see if other evidence is related to this crime."

Officials have ruled the death a homicide. However, they say they will not release autopsy results until they have notified the man's next of kin.