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Body of Monticello fisherman found in Pearl River

A Monticello man who went out to fish Tuesday morning in the Pearl River may have drowned, authorities said.

Lawrence County coroner Sandra Lambert said the body of George Edman Schultz, 80, has been sent to the state medical examiner’s office for an autopsy. She said it’s probable that he drowned, but she won’t know a cause of death until the autopsy is completed.

Lawrence County Sheriff Lessie Butler said Schultz’s boat may have hit something in the water that knocked him out of the boat, but he could have had a heart attack and fell in the water.

Butler said Schultz’s wife told him the man usually stays in touch by text when he’s fishing.

“The wife knows that he goes fishing about 8 and he comes out about 11 and he texts her off and on through that time,” he said.

Lambert spoke to the man’s wife after his body was discovered.

“He had not texted her by 12 and that’s when she knew something was sadly wrong,” Lambert said.

Butler said the woman called authorities, but before they could get Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks and the sheriff’s office’s rescue boat out on the water, a call came in about a body found.

Some fishermen saw the man’s boat floating about two miles south of the Atwood Water Park around 1 p.m.

“They were going to get the boat and pull it over to the bank and that’s when they noticed a life jacket in the river,” Lambert said.

When they tried to grab the life jacket they saw Schultz under the water and called authorities, she said.

The Lawrence County Fire Service also assisted in the search and recovery.