Body recovered from Mercer Lake

Florence resident Pat Stapp was identified as the body located in Mercer Lake

Officials confirm the victim was Florence man Pat Stapp

Jan. 2, 2019 — Lane County Sheriff 's officers were called to Mercer Lake over the weekend in response to reports of a body floating in one of the small coves not far from where a local man, Pat Stapp, went missing on Nov. 30, following a rollover of his vehicle.

Mercer Lake resident Jeff Barrett was contacted by a neighbor who saw what he described as a body, fully clothed, floating face down in the water.

Barrett was able to retrieve the body by floating it to a nearby dock, where officers, during their initial investigation, reportedly found a wallet containing the identification for Stapp.

According to a witness, the body was still wearing a leather jacket, checkered shirt and riding boots, also known to have been worn by Stapp.

However, due to the condition of the body, investigators awaited a full forensic examination before officially verifying the identity, which they confirmed Monday.

Lane County Sheriffs believed Stapp was the driver of a 1991 Toyota Camry that left the road, rolled over and was abandoned Nov. 30 by Stapp at milepost .75 on Sutton Lake Road, just past Mercer Creek Drive.

According to a statement released by the sheriff ’s office, a LCSO deputy spotted an individual matching Stapp’s description disappear down an embankment and to the water’s edge after being hailed by the deputy, who eventually lost sight of the man.

Stapp had been missing since.

Update: This article was updated after the story appeared in print.

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