Body recovered in case of missing man last seen in stolen boat

Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

PLANTAGENET — The body of a missing man turned up June 3 at a waterfront property in Alfred-Plantagenet Township, concluding a police search that began two days earlier when a male was spotted adrift in a stolen aluminum boat on the Ottawa River.

A homeowner in Treadwell discovered 34-year-old Benoit Franche of Hawkesbury at approximately 5:45 p.m., according to police.

Russell County OPP officers, the OPP Canine Unit, the Emergency Response Team (ERT), the OPP Marine Unit, and the Clarence-Rockland Fire Department were involved in the initial response to the theft of the boat on June 1 at 2:10 p.m.

Police recovered the boat on Parker Island but were unable to locate the male when conducting a thorough search of the island and surrounding area.

The OPP Aviation Services and OPP Underwater Search and Recovery Unit (USRU) also assisted with the search of the waterway.

A post-mortem on the deceased is scheduled to occur as late as today (June 7) at the Ottawa Hospital.

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