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Authorities in Marion County, Tenn., said the body of a man found last week floating in Nickajack Lake near Interstate 24 has been identified but officials are withholding his name until notification of his next of kin.

Marion County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Billy Powell said Tuesday the man is believed to be from Nashville.

"The person was identified, but we're still trying to notify his family," Powell said.

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Powell said two anglers from Grundy County discovered the man's body around 1 p.m. CST Thursday washed up on the shoreline.

"They were fishing under the bridge when they found him," Powell said. There were no documents or other information with the body that provided information about his identity.

Authorities also found a vehicle nearby believed to belong to the man. Some items found with the truck helped lead officials to the man's identity, Powell said.

Powell said he was unable to say how long the body had been in the water. Initially authorities were only able to say the body weighed between 160 and 170 pounds but they could not determine his age or race.

Investigators have not said there were any signs of foul play. An autopsy is under way, authorities said. Powell said the man's name will likely be released in the next couple of days.

The body found last week does not appear to be linked to the March 8 disappearance of Powells Crossroads resident Wesley Ridge. Ridge, 39 when he went missing, has not been seen or heard from since March 8. His family reported him missing March 10, and a $15,000 reward is offered for information in that case.

Ridge, who had been living at a home near Hales Bar Marina on U.S. Highway 41 just outside of Guild, Tenn., was reported missing by his father on March 10 and no one has seen or heard from him since, said Sheriff Ronnie "Bo" Burnett in a June update on Ridge's case. The sheriff said Ridge had worked at Valmont Industries in Jasper.

Anyone with any information on the whereabouts of Wesley Ridge is asked to call the Marion County Sheriff's Office at 423-942-2525.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6569.

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