73-year-old fisherman found dead in Philpott Lake

Sheriff's Office believes there's nothing suspicious about the death

By Jeff Williamson - Digital Content Manager

Credit: Franklin County

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. - A missing person report resulted in deputies finding 73-year-old man dead in Philpott Lake Tuesday.

At about 10 a.m. Tuesday, members of Coleman Hale's family reported him missing to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

He went fishing at about 6:30 a.m. Monday and never returned.

His truck and boat trailer had been spotted at Ryan’s Branch Recreational Area on Philpott Lake Tuesday morning.  

Members of multiple law enforcement agencies began searching the area.

At about noon, his boat was located in the water about two miles from the dock at Ryan’s Branch.  

A few hours later, Hale was found dead in the water, not far from where the boat was located.

The family has been notified and the body was taken to the forensic lab for examination.

Currently, the Sheriff's Office says there is nothing suspicious about his death.

Members of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Franklin County Department of Public Safety, Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Patrick County Sheriff’s Office, Philpott Lake Corps of Engineers and Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries took part in the search.

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