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Body of Missing Germantown Man Recovered in Upper Chesapeake Bay

Maryland Natural Resources Police report that the body of a Germantown man who went missing in the Sassafras River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore on Saturday has been recovered.

The body of George “Dewey” Barnes III, 50, of Germantown was recovered Monday morning near the mouth of the Sassafras River, near where the river meets the Chesapeake Bay.

Candy Thomson, the public information officer with Maryland Natural Resources Police said, Barnes had gone missing after a day of boating on the river with friends and family.

According to officials, there were four children and four adults on the boat. They left the Georgetown Yacht Basin which is right on the Sassafras River about ten miles east of where Barnes was found.

“They went out and enjoyed a day on the boat. On the way back, they decided to stop for a swim. They anchored the boat near the mouth of the river. The four children and three adults, including the victim jumped in the water. The fourth adult stayed with the boat,” said Thomson. She said the water temperature was about 80 degrees in the Bay this weekend.

While they were in the water, the current had carried the swimmers a good distance from the boat the operator of the boat had to move the boat closer to the swimmers, said Thomson. Once they were finished swimming, the three children and two adults climbed back on the boat, and they noticed that the victim was missing.

“We got the call on Saturday, Sept. 1 shortly before 7:00 pm,” said Thomson. “We arrived at the scene that evening and conducted a search until about 10:30 pm and called off the search due to darkness and storms in the area.” The search was done by Natural Resources Police, and fire department boats from both Kent and Cecil County, and a Coast Guard helicopter and boat.

Maryland Natural Resources Police resumed the search early Sunday morning with an aerial search and continued to search throughout Sunday until dark. “We resumed the search Monday morning and his body was found by a patrol boat near Betterton Beach which lies right at the mouth of the Sassafras River, not far from where he was last seen.”

Barnes was a fitness trainer and owner of Dedicated Fitness in Germantown, through which he would run fitness boot camps and various area parks and gyms, as well as personal one-on-one training. NBC4 Washington reports that he was married to a Montgomery County Police officer.

His body was taken to the medical examiner's office.

Photos courtesy MD NRP and Google Maps.

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