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Police identify body beneath Parkersburg bridge

Authorities recovered the body of a Parkersburg man Friday afternoon from underneath the Fifth Street Bridge near Gale Avenue. (Photo by Michael Erb)

PARKERSBURG — Authorities have identified the body of the white male recovered from beneath the Fifth Street Bridge near Gale Avenue Friday afternoon.

According to Parkersburg Police Chief Joe Martin, Luther A. Weatherholt, 40, of Parkersburg, was found floating in the Little Kanawha river at 2:45 p.m. on Friday.

“Weatherholt had been reported missing earlier Friday by a family member,” said Martin.

Martin said there was a small period of time between the last the family had heard from Weatherholt and the missing persons report being filed.

“There were no obvious signs of trauma when his body was recovered, but we have sent the body for an autopsy,” said Martin.

Authorities stand underneath the Fifth Street Bridge Friday afternoon after receiving a call of a body in the water near Gale Avenue. (Photo by Michael Erb)

Martin said that although foul play is not expected to be the cause of Weatherholt’s death, the Parkersburg Police Department is not ruling anything out at this time.

“We are working to establish a timeline between when he was last heard from and when he died,” said Martin. “We want to be able to give the family some closure and determine what happened.”

The Parkersburg Police Department, Wood County Sheriff’s Office and Parkersburg Fire Department responded to the scene. The Parkersburg Police Department is leading the investigation.

Madeline Scarborough can be reached at mscarborough@newsandsentinel.com

Authorities recovered the body of a Parkersburg man Friday afternoon from underneath the Fifth Street Bridge near Gale Avenue. (Photo by Michael Erb)

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