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Presumed SML Drowning Victim Identified - abc27 WHTM

Presumed SML Drowning Victim Identified

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Huddletson, VA - Friday night we told you officials were searching for a missing person, that search has now shifted to one of a presumed drowning. Police say the man they're searching for is 74-year-old John Shoop of Chesterfield.

5:30 Friday evening, 74-year-old John Shoop of Chesterfield, Virginia is floating on a small sailboat on Smith Mountain Lake. Conservation police say in just a matter of minutes, the man was nowhere to be found.

"Sail boat was still there, but Mr. Shoop was not," said Sergeant Bryan Young with the Virginia Conservation Police.

Family says Shoop was vacationing at a home off Neta Drive in Huddleston when he went missing. Police are combing the area around water marker R-2, but they say due to the deep water the search has proved to be challenging.

"It's a 160-180 feet approximately where we are searching. It does make it complicated just because of the terrain that is there and just the ultimate depth of the lake," said Sergeant Young.

Sgt. Young says dive teams have been brought in, they are also using side scan sonar to search the lake. However, he says finding the body at this point will be tough.

"The likelihood of locating Mr. Shoop is difficult," said Sergeant Young.

In a statement released to ABC 13, Shoop's son, Daniel Shoop said;

"On behalf of my mother, aunt and the rest of the Shoop family, I want to thank the professionals with the VA Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, as well as various other local agencies for the continuing efforts to find my father, John G. Shoop, of Chester, VA. Even at 74, all who know him can relate to his unending energy, exuberance and thirst for life. We are all hoping for a miracle, but understand that is not likely at this point. We thank everyone for their prayers and support at this difficult time."

In the meantime police are asking anyone on any type of watercraft to please avoid that area as waves from boats make it harder to search.

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