ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – A body found Tuesday night in a pond off County Road 210 near Interstate 95 has been identified as that of a New Port Richey man who had been missing since January, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.
The body was spotted floating in the pond by a St. Johns County helicopter unit, and deputies said it appeared the body had been there for a while.
The body was positively identified Wednesday as Brian Matthew White, 43.
Deputies said there were no obvious signs of foul play on the body, but the cause of death is pending toxicology testing.
Deputies said White left his mother’s home in New Port Richey, and travelled to Jacksonville to meet with a family member on or around Jan. 26. Two days later, after spending several hours with his family in Jacksonville, White left and told his mother he was headed back to her home.
But White never arrived and had not been seen or heard from since.
Detectives learned that White made a purchase at a St Augustine convenience store on Jan. 28.
The sheriff's office said detectives flew the CR 210 area in the agency's helicopter after detectives learned earlier this week that the vehicle White was driving, a Chevrolet Traverse that belonged to his mother, was found abandoned in a parking lot of a CR 210 industrial park and his last cellphone records put him in the CR 210 area.
The helicopter unit saw a body floating in a pond on the old KOA campground property off Sandy Creek Parkway, and detectives, evidence technicians and divers responded to the area to retrieve it.
Detectives are continuing the investigation.