Body recovered during search of Cape Fear River in Fayetteville

Cumberland County News

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — Craig Williams got a call around 2 p.m. Sunday about something that took place just feet away from his Fayetteville store.

“He stated that somebody had jumped off the Person Street bridge,” Williams told CBS 17 about a call he received. “I haven’t heard of anybody doing that in a long time.”

Fayetteville police and fire units were stationed around the bridge as divers and boats searched on the water.

Just after 5 p.m., crews recovered the body of a man identified by firefighters as Reginald Hannah of Cumberland County.

“In order to get the job done, you have to disassociate yourself, and kind of disconnect from the fact that you talk about a human being who just lost their life,” Fayetteville Police Officer and Diver John Sorie said.

Sorie led the search for Hannah Sunday. While in the water, Sorie kept in close contact with people on the surface while connected to a tether line.

“We had three targets,” Sorie said. “We can talk to the diver and on the surface, and she was guiding me based on where my bubbles are. She was guiding me to these three markers.”

He said divers typically go through hours of training, working in mostly brown water, and have sonar equipment to help pinpoint possible targets.

“We’re almost always operating in a place where you can’t see at all, or at best, a couple of feet,” Sorie said. “They had three possibilities. They were all in align, and it was the last one, so, the sonar worked and did its job.”

Officials will work to determine the cause of death.

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