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Body found in river is missing Proctorville resident


PROCTORVILLE — The body of a man found in the Ohio River near Glenwood in Mason County, W.Va., has been identified as James Alan Lawson. Lawson has been missing from his Proctorville home since April 28.

On Monday, Lawrence County Sheriff’s Detective Aaron Bollinger was told by West Virginia State Police that photographs of tattoos on the body recovered from the river would be shown to the family of Lawson.

“The West Virginia Medical Examiner was going to use that as an identification,” Bollinger said.

Bollinger declined to release the cause of death.

“It was definitely a homicide,” he said.

Lawson, 41, was reported missing by his ex-wife, Paula, on April 30, who said he left his home in the morning to check on rental property in Ironton.

On May 20, West Virginia authorities sent the body found in the river to the state’s medical examiner, who was unable to make an identification based on Lawson’s medical records.

Earlier in May the 1999 blue Ford Taurus Lawson had been driving was found in the 1900 block of James River Road in Huntington, W.Va., by Huntington Police Department. It had been left in the parking lot of a ball field. The car was searched by Lawrence County Sheriff’s detectives, who found no signs of foul play in the car.

Now county detectives and the West Virginia State Police are conducting investigations into the murder to determine not only a suspect, but the location of the crime and which law enforcement agency will have jurisdiction over prosecution.

“There are numerous leads we are following,” Bollinger said. “I am following up leads and they are and then we share the information.”