Missing fisherman's body found in Lake Alto

Published: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 at 11:36 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 at 11:36 a.m.

The body of a fisherman was recovered from Lake Alto Tuesday morning, more than a day after he left his mother’s home to go fishing alone.

Nathan William Scholtz, 27, of Tampa, left from the Lake Alto boat ramp southeast of Waldo around 6:30 a.m. Monday after telling his mother he was going fishing, according to the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.

Scholtz’s mother, Joann Scholtz, called the Sheriff’s Office at about 11:35 p.m. Monday to report that he was overdue to be back home.

“We found his green truck and boat trailer in the parking lot of the boat ramp,” said sheriff’s spokesman Art Forgey. “We had several deputies looking out over the lake from the shore line and Air 1 (a helicopter) flew over the lake.”

Scholtz’s 2008, 15-foot-long Carolina Skiff boat was found adrift along the lake’s west shoreline within about 30 minutes, according to Forgey.

At daylight Tuesday, divers from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office joined Alachua County divers and officers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in the search.

Columbia County divers recovered Scholtz’s body in about 12 feet of water at 10 a.m., according to FWC spokeswoman Karen Parker.

Parker said Scholtz’s death is being investigated as a boating death. Investigators at the scene said there were no obvious signs of foul play. Forgey said an autopsy would be performed at the medical examiners office in Gainesville to determine the cause of Scholtz’s death.

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