Man found dead in submerged car near Newport News marina ID’d

WAVY/LaVoy Harrell

UPDATE: Police have identified the man as 76-year-old Aaron Joseph, of Yale, Virginia. A cause of death has not been determined.


NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A body was found inside of a car that was found Tuesday morning near the James River Marina in Newport News.

Photos: Police investigate body found in submerged car

A retired Newport News police sergeant and his adult son spotted the car, a red Toyota Prius, in the water Tuesday around 7:30 a.m. and called 911. A Newport News Fire Department dive team found the body of a black man in the back seat of the car.

“Doing the initial search of the vehicle, I did discover there was someone in the back,” said Newport News Fire Lieutenant Williams Diggs.

Police said Tuesday there were no apparent signs of trauma on the man’s body.

“The first thing we’re going to do is figure out what happened,” said police spokesman Brandon Maynard. “It’s a lot of questions at this point. Hopefully we can get answers pretty quick.”

It was not immediately clear Tuesday how the car got to the part of the water where it was found or how long it had been in the water.

Local watermen told 10 On Your Side that they believe the vehicle was most likely driven into the water from the marina.

“Where that vehicle was out there probably wasn’t three foot of water,” said waterman Steve Farris. “For where it was, I really think it probably went off the boat ramp.”

Newport News resident Christopher Storms and his father first spotted the car. They called for help right away.

“It was a surprise, that’s for sure,” Storms said. “The car was like 20 feet out from the edge… It was like 20 feet out and the front of it was under water.”

Images from the scene showed that the car’s back window was broken.

“It does make you wonder,” Storms said. “It is just strange something like that happened.”

Police have not identified the man found in the vehicle. His body was taken to the Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy.

Stay with WAVY.com for the latest on this breaking news.


In the original version of this post, police and fire officials had said the body was that of a white male. Officials later corrected that it was a black male.