Sonar robot finds body of fisherman in lake

Sarah Willets -

WHITEVILLE — A sonar robot located the body of a missing Lumberton fisherman in Inman Lake on Monday morning, according to the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office.

Virl Lowery, 62, of Ball Park Road, was fishing in Inman Lake at about 4 p.m. Saturday when a man in another boat heard a splash and saw that Lowery was no longer in his boat, according to a statement from Sheriff Lewis L. Hatcher.

The other man tried unsuccessfully to save Lowery and called 911.

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the Lowery family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time,” Hatcher said in the statement.

Emergency crews with the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office, Columbus County Emergency Management, Columbus County Emergency Services, Bladen County Sheriff’s Office, NC Wildlife Resources Commission, Brunswick County Search and Rescue and New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office searched through the weekend for Lowery’s body.

An underwater sonar robot operated remotely by New Hanover County sheriff’s deputies located Lowery’s body at about 9:30 a.m. Monday.

An autopsy is being conducted to determine what killed Lowery.

Early media reports incorrectly identified Lowery as Bill Lowery.

Sarah Willets is the managing editor of The Robesonian in Lumberton. She can be reached by calling 910-816-1974.

Sarah Willets

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