James River drowning victim identified

SURRY COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) - A body that was found in the James River Sunday night has been identified as Kenneth Leary, of Lanexa, Va. Laurie Naismith with the Virginia Marine Resources Commission said Leary was identified through his fingerprints.

His body was found near the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry dock around 7:30 p.m.

Authorities in Surry County spent the last two days looking for a missing boater. They have not confirmed Leary is the missing man they were searching for.

Naismith said a person on a jet ski located Leary’s body in the water in James City County. Witnesses said the body was floating near the ferry route.

“It was really close to the boat,” said Jayne Jenkins, who was taking the ferry from James City County to Surry County. “They asked us all to get back in our cars.”

Surry County Sheriff, Alvin Clayton, said the search started around 7:30 a.m. Saturday. A woman was found in the water alive. A boat was found in another location with a man’s wallet and cell phone was on board.

The discovery was made near Chippokes Plantation State Park.

The woman was still in the hospital as of Sunday. Clayton said she had been interviewed and she was on the boat before somehow falling into the water. It’s not clear how long the woman had been in the water.

VMRC, Surry County deputies, Virginia State Police, and the U.S. Coast Guard participated in the search along the shoreline.

Jenkins said she had seen the man on a jet ski as he located the body in the river.

“He was just jet-skiing,” said Jenkins. “And all of a sudden he was just sitting on his jet ski, not moving, looking up at the boat.”

VMRC and the Surry County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating.

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