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Body found in Lake Tarpon

The body of a man found dead in Lake Tarpon has not yet been identified because police have not reached his next of kin. The man was found shortly after a Palm Harbor man reported seeing a boat adrift in the middle of the lake.

JIM DAMASKE | Times

The body of a man found dead in Lake Tarpon has not yet been identified because police have not reached his next of kin. The man was found shortly after a Palm Harbor man reported seeing a boat adrift in the middle of the lake.

EAST LAKE — Authorities found the body of a Hillsborough County man floating in Lake Tarpon on Friday, shortly after they started searching for the operator of a boat left adrift on the lake.

Pinellas County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Cecilia Barreda said foul play was not involved. Authorities are not releasing the man's name because next of kin have yet to be reached.

Palm Harbor resident Randall Proffitt, 65, called 911 from his house about 10:20 a.m. Friday to report an unoccupied boat adrift in Lake Tarpon.

Proffitt flagged down another boat to take him out to the one that was adrift.

He then drove the red 18-foot Bass Tracker back to a dock at 4597 Grand Lakeside Drive E in Palm Harbor. The vessel was in good shape, and was equipped with fishing gear, a cooler, shoes and keys.

Deputies from the marine and flight unit arrived and began looking for the man who was operating the boat. The body was discovered after about 10 minutes of searching, not far from where the boat was found.

It appeared the body had been in the water for a short time before it was discovered, sheriff's Sgt. Tom Nestor said. There were no visible signs of trauma, but cause of death cannot be determined until an autopsy has been performed, Nestor said.

Officials believe they also found the man's vehicle, a black Dodge truck and trailer, in the parking lot of nearby John Chesnut Park.

The man lived and worked in Hillsborough County.

Martine Powers can be reached at mpowers@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4224.

Body found in Lake Tarpon 07/23/10 [Last modified: Friday, July 23, 2010 11:21pm]
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