Note: This story was updated at 10:45 a.m. Feb. 22.
CLAXTON—A fisherman found a body under about four feet of water at Bull Run Park in Claxton on Wednesday afternoon, and it has been identified as the man reported missing from Karns in Knox County on Sunday morning, authorities said.
The body of Freddy Shultz, 66, was located on the slope of the bank of Bull Run Creek at Bull Run Park at about 3:48 p.m. Wednesday, according to information from Anderson County Sheriff Paul White and the Knox County Sheriff’s Office. The body was located near the New Henderson Road bridge after four days of searching.
Divers from the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department and a boat with personnel from the Anderson County Rescue Squad assisted in the recovery, said Mark Lucas, Anderson County Sheriff’s Department chief deputy.
White said identification in the man’s wallet identified him as the missing man. His black pickup truck had been found parked alongside New Henderson Road across the creek from Bull Run Park at about 12:45 p.m. Sunday.
The Knox County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit, Anderson County Sheriff’s Department investigators, and the Knox County Medical Examiner’s Office processed the scene. The body was transported to the Knox County Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the cause of death, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office said.
Search crews from the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, the Anderson County Rescue Squad, and the Knoxville Volunteer Rescue Squad had searched Sunday afternoon and evening after the missing man’s truck was found near the park. Additional searches were done Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
Search efforts were hampered by muddy, swift-moving water from the recent rains, Lucas said. When the fisherman found the body Wednesday afternoon, he reported it to the Sheriff’s Department.
White said he had been on a boat searching from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, using sonar to look at the bottom of the creek all day. But the boat couldn’t get too close to shore to avoid damage to the boat.
The water has very low visibility, and it’s black water at more than a foot deep, White said.
He said the water has probably receded about four feet since Sunday.
The recovered body was fully clothed, and investigators had found a suicide note in the black pickup truck parked alongside New Henderson Road on Sunday, White said. The keys were also in the truck.
Authorities don’t suspect anything suspicious, White said.
Terry Allen, chief of the Anderson County Rescue Squad, said he and the rescue squad have been searching the water every day this week.
“I treat it as though it was one of my family members,” Allen said.
Rescuers have covered all the water in the wide, lake-like section of Bull Run Creek at the park, Allen said.
He even went on the top of a ridge top overlooking the water to try to do a visual search.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
Oak Ridge Today reader Kevin Rice helped provide initial information for this story.
See previous story here.
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