SMITHVILLE, Tenn. — Authorities have found the body of a Middle Tennessee man reported missing three years ago in a lake.
The Daily News Journal cited a statement from the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office in reporting that the body of Joseph Loupe of Rutherford County was found this month in Center Hill Lake. Loupe was reported missing on Nov. 2, 2010 after renting a pontoon boat and not returning it. The boat was found with no one aboard and authorities searched at the time but did not find Loupe.
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency scanned the banks by boat and dragging operations by the rescue crews didn't cease until dark.
"As soon as he went missing, we did a missing person report on him," Ray said. "We entered him into the National Crime Information Center as missing (person) and over the last three years we did our investigation work and also checked tips we received but nothing ever came from it."
A fisherman noticed the badly decomposed body in the lake on Oct. 11 and called authorities.
"The (state medical examiner) was able to take (X-rays) to make a positive identification," said DeKalb County Sheriff Patrick Ray. "The autopsy revealed that Loupe was the victim of a drowning."
He said no foul play is suspected.
Ray said in the statement that he hadn't heard of a body surfacing after being in a lake for that long.
"We believe he either fell or jumped into the water from the pontoon boat that he had rented," Ray said. "A fanny pack was on the body that contained Loupe's identification, but since the remains were so badly decomposed, we couldn't tell who he was."
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