UPDATE: Body of Man Recovered in Philpott Lake Tuesday

PHILPOTT LAKE – The Franklin County Sheriff’s Department says they recovered the body of 73-year old Coleman Lewis Hale in the Ryan’s Branch area of Philpott Lake Tuesday, following a search and rescue operation by multiple agencies.

Hale was reported missing around 10 a.m. Tuesday by family members who told investigators he had gone fishing at 6:30 a.m. Monday but never returned.

Hale’s truck and boat trailer were found at the Ryan’s Branch Recreational Area Tuesday morning. Members of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, the Franklin County Department of Public Safety, Philpott Lake Corps of Engineers and Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries participated in the search.

Hale’s boat was found in the water around noon Tuesday, about two miles from the dock at Ryan’s Branch. A few hours later, Hale’s body was found in the water, not far from his boat.

The family has been notified. Hale’s body has been taken to the forensic lab for examination.

The death is not suspicious, according to Captain Phillip Young.


PHILPOTT LAKE – The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is currently searching for a man who is missing near the Franklin / Patrick County line.

The Sheriff’s Department tells Cable 12 the man’s family reported him missing earlier in the day Tuesday.

The search and rescue operation is taking place on Philpott Lake, but could be hampered by heavy thunderstorms later this afternoon.

Cable 12 Meteorologist Jamey Singleton was asked to provide weather updates and is providing forecast information to the Sheriff’s Department as needed. Storms should be developing over Philpott Lake by 2-3 p.m. and could linger into the evening and overnight.

Stay with Cable 12 for further details.

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