Local News

Man's body found in Jordan Lake

Posted May 9, 2008 11:47 a.m. EDT
Updated May 9, 2008 3:36 p.m. EDT

— Chatham County deputies were investigating the discovery of a man's body found floating in Jordan Lake Friday morning.

David Stein, 21, said he was fishing in the Robeson Creek section of the lake, off Hanks Chapel Road, when he saw a boot and pair of pants floating in the water. He said he didn't think anything about it until the a leg floated back into view a short time later.

The body was so bloated and blistered that it was difficult to tell its race, he said.

Stein said he couldn't get a cell phone signal, so he flagged down a passing driver, who called authorities at about 10:10 a.m.

"He was pretty shaken, finding something like that. But he indicated he had been fishing and just – all of a sudden, basically – saw the boot and the leg float by," said his mother, Julie Stein, who rushed to the area after hearing about the incident.

It was unclear how long the body had been in the water, authorities said.

Capt. Charles Gardner of the Chatham County Sheriff's Office said investigators recovered two shirts, a pair of shoes with socks inside and a pair of khaki pants from the lake. A cell phone and a wallet with an ID were in the pockets of the pants, he said.

The body belonged to a Hispanic man, Gardner said, and investigators were trying to determine if he matches the ID found in the wallet.

Contrary to initial accounts of the body having jeans and a white T-shirt on, authorities said, it was clad only in black boxer shorts.

The body was sent for an autopsy to determine a cause of death, authorities said, but investigators were treating the case as a suspicious death.