Preliminary autopsy results: Body found in Lake Somerville victim of drowning

Published: May. 30, 2022 at 4:57 PM CDT|Updated: May. 31, 2022 at 12:19 PM CDT
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SOMERVILLE, Texas (KBTX) - The body found in Lake Somerville near Welch Park Monday morning seems to be a victim of drowning, according to preliminary autopsy results by the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Witnesses say they saw a body floating about 20 yards off the shoreline and immediately called 911, the sheriff’s office said. A Welch Park worker was able to bring the victim to shore as the sheriff’s office, Somerville police, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and Park Rangers responded to investigate.

Investigators identified the victim as 26-year-old Jim Ross Cole Jr. of Round Top.

The sheriff’s office says the victim was in the water about 24 to 36 hours before they were discovered. No witnesses at this time saw the victim go into the water, but investigators do not suspect foul play. A final ruling on the cause of death will be released after toxicology results come in.

“This is kind of an unusual one, most of these that we work we usually have somebody who has witnessed somebody go into the water or there’s some type of report of either individuals falling out of a boat or someone’s entered the water or they were swimming with an individual, so this one we’re really having to work it backward,” Chief Deputy John Pollock said. “We had no missing person reports from Burleson County so we checked with Lee County and Washington County who both had borders on Lake Somerville. Neither of those agencies had missing person reports so we started having to kind of work this backward.”

Pollock said a truck was reported that had been parked in the area for a few days. Investigators determined the vehicle belonged to the victim.

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