The body of the Sumter angler who went missing over the weekend after being dropped off in Pocotaligo Swamp was found Wednesday afternoon by search crews from the SCDNR and the Sumter County Sheriff’s Dept.
61-year-old Harry Lee Bradley went fishing Saturday after family members dropped him off Saturday. After he didn’t show up when they came back to pick Bradley up, the family was initially unconcerned because he had often fished overnight on his own in the swamp.
But when they went back the next morning and he still did not show up, his family members alerted authorities, who began searching for the missing angler. After finding his boat with his cell phone in it, they hoped he had been able to swim to shore. The boat was partially submerged and caught up in a bundle of vines.
Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis said the whole community is saddened at the loss of Mr. Bradley, and expressed his appreciation for the SCDNR, the Florence County Sheriff’s Office, the Sumter Police Dept, the City of Sumter, and SCDOT, all of whom helped his agency in the search.
“Our condolences go out to the family of Mr. Bradley, and we sincerely appreciate the concern and care from the many Sumter residents and passersby who stopped by to bring food and water to those active in the search,” said Dennis.
Bradley’s remains were found not far from where his boat was found. No foul play is suspected, and Sumter County deputy coroner Rob Lybrand said Mr. Bradley apparently fell out of his boat while fishing.
“It appears that Mr. Bradley was standing in the boat and fell overboard,” Lybrand said.
An autopsy is planned for Wednesday in Newberry, where the exact cause of death is expected to be found.