The man’s body found in Lake Lanier on Sunday evening is that of Kelly Nash, Hall County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Nicole Bailes confirmed Monday afternoon.
Nash, 25, was reported missing from his Jimmy Dodd Road home in Buford on Jan. 5.
Dive teams retrieved the body after a report around 5:54 p.m. Sunday by a fisherman near Shadburn Ferry Road close to the Hall/Gwinnett county line.
The body had drifted into a cove behind the 6000 block of Shadburn Ferry Road. The body appeared as if it had been in the water “for a period of time,” Bailes said. She said due to the condition of the body authorities did not immediately observe any trauma to it.
Nash’s body was found in pajamas and a black long sleeve pullover, Bailes said.
The faculty of Lakeview Academy in Gainesville, where Nash played varsity basketball all four years, discovered the news of Nash’s death Monday on social media.
“The Lakeview community, those that knew him and those that know of him, are devastated and have been,” said Lakeview headmaster John Kennedy. “It was very tough on many of our teachers who know him and the family.
“Anytime a young person’s life is cut short with all the promise that goes with it, for all educators and everybody in this community, it’s a real tragedy. Lakeview sends our prayers to the Nash family during this tough time.”
Nash played nearly every position as a varsity basketball player under coach Seth Vining. Vining described Nash as a hardworking, considerate and respectful young man.
Nash’s family mounted an exhaustive search, posting a $50,000 reward for any information related to his whereabouts.
The body was transported to the DeKalb County Medical Examiner’s Office on Monday for an autopsy, which confirmed the identity, Bailes said.
Bailes said the sheriff’s office would not release any further details regarding cause of death until the medical examiner finishes further tests.
The Facebook page “Kelly Nash Missing” posted this message around 1 p.m. Monday:
“Thank you for all of your prayers. At this time, the family respectfully request privacy regarding Kelly. We know many of you have questions, as do we, but unfortunately there are no answers to share at the moment. Please continue to keep the Nash family in your thoughts and prayers.”