Missing Middle Tennessee man's body surfaces in lake - and more Chattanooga region news

Missing Middle Tennessee man's body surfaces in lake - and more Chattanooga region news

October 23rd, 2013 by Wire Service in Local Regional News

Body found tile

Body found tile

Photo by WRCB-TV Channel 3 /Times Free Press.

Missing Middle Tennessee man's body surfaces in lake

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," DeKalb County Sheriff Patrick Ray said. "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."

State fair moves to speedway

MACON, Ga. - After more than 160 years in Macon, the Georgia State Fair has moved to the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton.

This year's fair begins at its new location on Friday, The Telegraph reported.

"This town has lost an asset, a gem that for years took place in our midst," said Hank Clark, a former member of the fair's board of directors.

The fair began in Stone Mountain in 1846 before moving to Macon in 1851. The Exchange Club took over the fair's operation in 1942 before Universal Fairs bought it and operated it for the first time in 2012.

The fair has seen declining revenues in recent years. The arrival of the Georgia National Fair in Perry in 1990 - held each October - proved to be stiff competition for the Macon fair. No state fair was held in 2009, and in 2010 the fair was shifted to the spring to avoid competing with the national fair.

Skeletal remains found by hunter

DALLAS, Ga. - Authorities in North Georgia are investigating after a hunter discovered human skeletal remains.

Paulding County sheriff's officials say the remains were found Friday in a shallow grave off Dabbs Bridge Road in the northern part of Paulding County.

The sheriff's office said in a statement Tuesday that detectives aren't certain of the person's identity and are checking missing person cases in the area.

The remains will be analyzed by the GBI Crime Lab to determine the cause of death, whether the death was a homicide, and how long ago it occurred.