Georgia fisherman hooks, reels in man’s body from river: ‘Probably thought he had the biggest catfish ever’

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A fisherman hooked and reeled in a man’s body while fishing on the Chattahoochee River in Columbus, Georgia on Tuesday evening, according to Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan.

Around 5 p.m. on Tuesday, a group of men were fishing on the Chattahoochee River in Columbus, Georgia, when they made the gruesome discovery.

“In 12 years, this is the first time that I’ve had a fisherman hook a body and bring it to shore,” Bryan said. “This guy probably thought he had caught the biggest catfish ever.” 

Authorities are asking for the public’s help in determining the man’s identity.

“In 12 years, this is the first time that I’ve had a fisherman hook a body and bring it to shore”

PIZZA HUT BOSS RECEIVED EERIE TEXTS, CALL FROM SLAIN MANAGER’S PHONE BEFORE BODY FOUND IN TRASH: REPORT

Police looking to identify body found by fishermen in Georgia river. (Muskogee County Coroners Office)

“Somebody’s got to know this guy, they’ve got to know him,” Bryan said. 

Authorities believe the body is of a likely homeless man who reportedly jumped into the river on Feb. 7.

“Officers got called out to this area, which is notorious for people drowning. This guy was having some issue, was probably high on meth or something from the way he was acting. He was also naked,” Bryan said.  

Bryan added that the Columbus police officers who were at the scene nearly two weeks ago confirmed the body was the same man. 

“We were able to identify him as a Caucasian male probably in his mid and late 50s. We were able to roll him over and identify him as the guy from two weeks ago because of his cross tattoo on his shoulder blade. It’s about 3 inches tall and 3 inches wide,” said Bryan.

BODY FOUND IN SAME AUSTIN LAKE WHERE OTHER DECEASED INDIVIDUALS DISCOVERED IN RECENT MONTHS

Sign reads National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Island Ford Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area

Sandy Springs, Atlanta, Georgia, Island Ford entrance sign, Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. (Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Bryan says they are ruling this an accidental drowning.

“It was not suicide, this was an accidental death. He drowned, and I don’t think it was on purpose either,” Bryan said. 

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Black dog in river, woman watching the dog while standing on a rock, man a few rocks behind her looking down in the water

Roswell, Atlanta, Georgia, Vickery Creek Old Mill Park, Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, couple with dog in river.  (Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Bryan added that the body will not be sent to a crime lab, but will instead go to the county morgue. If not identified within 3 days, Bryan said by law he can bury him in a pauper’s grave, which is why he is urging someone to come forward if they know this man.

“It’s an item of interest to citizens of Columbus and I feel like they need to know what’s going on in their city,” said Bryan. “13 days ago they knew someone jumped into the river, now they know that body was brought up. I’m sure there’s been a lot of people praying for this man and for the family, even though we don’t know who they are.”

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