Body found in the James River identified as missing boater

Posted at 9:54 PM, Jul 20, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-22 12:59:52-04

A dead body found floating in the James River Sunday evening, has been identified. The Virginia Marine Resources Commission saying a jet-skier found Kenneth Leary from Lanexa, Virginia around 7:30 pm.

Sixteen-year-old Maranda Musick was at the Jamestown Scotland Ferry dock right after the discovery was made.

"I didn't believe at first," said Musick. "A whole bunch of people were walking up the ferry trying to see if they could see it."

The discovery was made 24 hours after several agencies began a massive search for a missing boater.

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission is the lead agency for the investigation.

On Tuesday, Virginia Marine Resources Commission confirmed that Leary was the missing boater they had been searching for.

The Surry County Sheriff's Office tells NewsChannel 3 that the boat was found not far from where the body was discovered and not far from the Chippokes Plantation State Park just a few miles away. Leary's wallet and phone were found on the boat.

The sheriff added that a woman on that boat, identified as Theresa Digby, was also rescued near the state park. She was found clinging on a post, intoxicated, fighting for her life and fighting against hypothermia. She was taken to the hospital and has since been released.

The VMRC says Digby stated that she fell off the boat about 40 minutes after leaving Chickahominy Haven en route to the Pork, Peanut and Pine Festival in Surry County.

Stay with NewsChannel 3 for any updates.