MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Loved ones of a man who hasn’t been seen since jumping into the Wolf River Harbor last month are hoping for answers after a man’s body was found in a retention pond.
The man who discovered the body says he was walking his dog around 2 p.m. Saturday near his Uptown home when he spotted the body floating face-down in the water.
“We were walking north on Front Street and as we were walking by one of the retention ponds, just kind of looked down in there and saw what was obviously the deceased body," said Keith Thole. “It was a little shocking.”
The retention pond is one of three on the block, across the street from a building MLGW says is one of its electrical substations.
“They’re usually filled with trash that come in from the river. [I was] never expecting to see an actual body," Thole said. “It’s something that you don’t want to see.”
His mind immediately went to the mystery man’s family as he wondered who he could be, and who might be out there looking for him.
“There is a story behind him... Somebody’s family has been thinking about this person," Thole said.
Police haven’t released the man’s name yet and have only said that he’s white, but the discovery comes about three weeks after police say James Rosenbaum, 41, jumped into the Wolf River Harbor near Second and Plum.
Investigators say Rosenbaum was with Shawn Palma, who was arrested shortly after he disappeared and charged with stealing thousands of dollars worth of scrap metal and other materials from an abandoned barge.
According to the police report, a witness said he saw Rosenbaum take off his shirt and jump into the water from a barge deck, before he began "flopping his arms in a panic motion halfway between the barge and the river bank."
The search was called off the next day, but Rosenbaum was never found.
“The way the river is flowing right now, it is a possibility that that could be that gentleman, and if it is, I hope he and his family and friends can finally have some rest and some peace," Thole said.
An autopsy is being performed to determine how the man found in the retention pond died, but in the meantime, Rosenbaum’s loved ones tell WREG that they’re praying for closure.
"I, just like his family, want him home so we can give him the proper burial," said Rosenbaum's friend, Kayla Crowe.
Investigators say no foul play is suspected in the death of the man found in the retention pond, but they're still investigating.