Body Discovered in Chattahoochee River, Columbus Authorities Seek Identification

On Tuesday, February 20, 2024, a group of fishermen made a grim discovery along the Chattahoochee River as they reeled in their lines. At approximately 5:00 PM, one of the men hooked onto something unexpected – a male body.

According to Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan, this incident marked an unprecedented occurrence in his twelve years on the job. “In 12 years, this is the first time that I’ve had a fisherman hook a body and bring it to shore,” he remarked.

Authorities are now seeking the public’s help in identifying the deceased individual. Coroner Bryan emphasized, “Somebody’s got to know this guy – they’ve got to know him.”

Describing the victim as a mid-to-late 50s Caucasian male with a distinct cross tattoo on his shoulder blade, Bryan revealed the tragic circumstances surrounding the man’s death. It’s suspected that he may have been homeless and possibly under the influence at the time of the incident.

Police believe the man might have jumped into the water on February 7, and his body was discovered in an area known for drowning incidents. Bryan clarified, “It was not suicide. This was an accidental death.”

Despite efforts to identify the deceased, if no one comes forward within three days, Bryan explained that the law permits him to arrange a burial in a “pauper’s grave.”

Expressing concern for the community, Bryan urged anyone with information to come forward. “It’s an item of interest to citizens of Columbus, and I feel like they need to know what’s going on in their city,” he stated. “I’m sure there’ve been a lot of people praying for this man and for the family, even though we don’t know who they are.”

As investigations continue, authorities remain committed to uncovering the identity of the deceased and providing closure to his loved ones.