Body Found At Belews Lake Identified

STOKES COUNTY, N.C. – The body found at Belews Lake on Tuesday was James Pascual Bohenstiel.

His body was identified by the medical examiner at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

His body was identified by dental records. Drowning was ruled the cause of death. The Stokes County Sheriff's Office says no foul play was involved.

WFMY News 2's Liz Crawford talked to Jackie Pegram, Bohenstiel's mother. Jackie said he went by Pat and he died doing what he loved which was catch fish.

"It was traumatizing beyond words. You think when somebody dies, there's a death and then you react to it. We waited 19 days to not know how he died, if he died, where he died," said Pegram.

Bohenstiel's body was discovered Tuesday morning at the lake, where multiple agencies have been searching for two missing fishermen for nearly three weeks.

"He loved fishing and he loved hunting and he loved playing golf and he loved his girlfriend, Nicole and he loved his friends and he loved life and he lived it to the fullest," added Pegram.

According to the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office, a Rockingham County Sheriff's deputy found the body in the water at approximately 6:45 a.m. in the Stokes County part of the lake. The deputy who found the body told WFMY News 2 he was on a routine morning patrol of the lake--something he has been doing daily since the two fishermen went missing.

Stokes County EMS director Greg Collins said the body was male, partially clothed and had "identifying factors" that have led Stokes County EMS to believe the body is one of the two missing fishermen. The deputy found the body near the search area--the part of the lake known as the "hot hole" surrounding the Duke Energy steam station.

Jacob Line and James "Pat" Bohenstiel, friends from Kernersville, disappeared in April while on a fishing trip at Belews Lake. Collins said the families of missing fishermen Jacob Line and James "Pat" Bohenstiel have been notified that a body has been found.

Several rescue agencies from neighboring counties have worked to find the fishermen. Collins cited water temperature, manner of death and other factors are valid reasons as to why the body--if it is, indeed that of one of the fisherman--was not discovered floating prior to today.

In a news conference, Collins said the body has been deceased for about 20 days. Stokes County EMS took the body to the Stokes County Medical Examiner's Office to determine its identity and cause of death. After the county's review, the body will go to the state Medical Examiner's Office in Raleigh.

Collins said, "The Stokes County Sheriff's Office will be looking into the information found in that autopsy. That doesn't mean there was any speculation of foul play."

The results of the autopsy are expected to be revealed by the end of this week.

Collins said search teams will continue to do daily surface-level searches of the lake, and later in the week will conduct a pre-planned, full-scale search involving divers and sonar.

This story is developing, check back for updates.


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