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Body found in ocean Friday identified as missing man from Rock Hill

Myrtle Beach Fire searching for missing swimmer

Swimmers near the Crown Reef Resort at 29th Avenue South reported seeing a man struggling in the water and going down. Myrtle Beach Fire Department responded along with the US Coast Guard to search for the swimmer, but whether or not the man is mi
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Swimmers near the Crown Reef Resort at 29th Avenue South reported seeing a man struggling in the water and going down. Myrtle Beach Fire Department responded along with the US Coast Guard to search for the swimmer, but whether or not the man is mi

A body recovered from the ocean early Friday near Myrtle Beach State Park has been identified as a missing man from Rock Hill, Horry County Coroner Robert Edge said.

James Franklin Ross II, 33, was reported missing Wednesday - the day after a man, later identified as Ross - was seen struggling in the ocean about 6 p.m. Tuesday near 29th Avenue South.

Officers said they noticed a blue beach towel “on the beach with no one around it” as they arrived on scene after getting a call about a swimmer in distress Tuesday night, according to an incident report. Officers spotted the same towel alone on the sand as nightfall forced most of the crews to temporarily suspend their search.

Police found a cellphone and a set of car keys inside the towel. Police were able to use the items to identify Ross as the property’s owner.

Authorities spoke to Ross’ mother who said her son was in Myrtle Beach on a day trip from Rock Hill, and she wasn’t sure when he would be home, according to the report.

Police found Ross’ vehicle at the 28th Avenue South beach access Tuesday and noted it was still parked in the same spot at 5 a.m. Wednesday.

Crews found the body after receiving a report of a drowning about 4:30 a.m. Friday near Myrtle Beach State Park.

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