Posted by Shawn Maclauchlan - email
PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - Petersburg police responded to the Appomattox river just before noon Sunday after a citizen reported seeing what she thought was a body floating down the river.
Surprising and bizarre are not the words Albert Thomas normally uses to describe his weekly fishing excursions on the Appomattox. But after Sunday's experience assisting Chesterfield police, they're the only words he can think of.
"You come down and we down here to catch fish and we're fishing out a body ," said Thomas.
Police asked Thomas and fellow fisherman Algie Geter to use their fishing equipment to reel in a log they were told was dragging a body.
"We didn't see nothing but a log at first. I thought it was some trash on the log but after we hooked it we could see the feet," said Geter. "I've heard talk of people falling in the river but it was a close encounter with helping pull the body out of the river."
When the Chesterfield dive squad finally pulled out the body, it didn't reveal many answers. Police tell us it is so badly decomposed, they're not even able to determine race or sex. The medical examiner could have to resort to dental records or DNA to make a positive identification. Thomas is hoping that eventual ID could bring closure to the victim's family.
"To whomever loved one that was, I feel bad for them. I'm sure they can get some sleep now."