Maryland Natural Resources Police

BETTERTON — Searchers found the body of a missing Pennsylvania man on Sunday afternoon at the mouth of the Sassafras River, approximately 36 hours after his unmanned motor boat was discovered traveling in circles in the Northeast River off Turkey Point, according to Maryland Natural Resources Police.

Investigators identified the victim as Earl L. Graham, 53, of Narvon, Pa.

Candy Thomson, a NRP spokeswoman, reported that Graham docked his 23-foot Pro-Line center console boat in a slip at Craft Haven Campground & Marina in the 900 block of Carpenters Point Road near Perryville.

“He was visiting with friends at the campground on Friday night and later left the group. That is the last time that anyone has seen him,” Thomson explained, shortly before Graham’s body was recovered about 3 p.m. Sunday.

The investigation into how and when Graham wound up in the water is continuing.

The search, which lasted a total of 26 hours, started shortly after someone called authorities about 2:45 a.m. on Saturday to report seeing an unmanned boat “going around in circles off Turkey Point,” she said. A responding crew was able to control Graham’s unmanned boat and bring it to shore, Thomson added.

Crews in boats combed the waters from about 3 a.m. on Saturday until 8 p.m., before suspending the search for the day because of darkness, police said. The search resumed about 6 a.m. on Sunday and ended with the recovery of Graham’s body at the mouth of Sassafras River, south of where his unmanned boat had been found in the Northeast River 36 hours earlier, police added.

In addition to the NRP, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Aberdeen Proving Ground Marine Unit and rescue boat crews from Cecil, Harford and Kent counties were involved in the search, Thomson reported.

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