The search for the missing fishermen near steel creek bridge ended this morning when the body of John Murphy, 68, was found around 7 a.m. this morning near Allen Creek about 3 miles from the Lake Gaston Dam, the location his boat was discovered adrift on Monday.
According to the primary investigator, Nick Bolette, of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Murphy left his dock in the River Ridge subdivision on Monday morning in his bass boat loaded with fishing supplies. An individual later found the bass boat between Allen Creek and Little River, shoved into the weeds on the bank but not tied off.
VDGIF received the call on Monday, Sept. 16, at 12:54 p.m. The conservation officers established a command post near the steel bridge and worked on scene with the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team, Palmer Springs Fire Department, Churchill-Five Forks volunteer Fire Department, Southside Rescue Squad, Virginia State Police, Lake Gaston Fire and EMS.
Local search and rescue organizations had five boats in the water on Monday, four boats on Tuesday, and three boats searching today. Murphy’s body was found by friends of the family who were helping search on their private vessel.
The investigation is ongoing. Murphy’s body was transported to the medical examiner's office in Richmond, Va. for autopsy.