Body found in Richmond canal is not the ‘missing man’ police sought

Posted at 9:35 AM, May 07, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-07 18:53:00-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - The body pulled from a Richmond canal Wednesday morning was not that of missing Richmond man Randall Collins. Police have not yet released the identity of the man found today.  The medical examiner will determine the cause and manner of death.  Collins remains missing.

"I know he's no longer with us.  And it's just a matter of finding him," said Kathlyn Owens, Randall Collins Grandmother.

Kathlyn Owens is desperate to learn anything about her Grandson's  disappearance.

"I know in my heart that he wouldn't be away from his family this long without something seriously wrong," said Owens.

Owens got a call from detectives about an adult male's body that was found along in the canal.

"I was ready to panic in a way. But I didn't until I knew for sure that this was Randall or they have him," said Owens.

Kathlyn Owens is hoping for the best.  But preparing for the worse.  And wants members of Richmond's dive team to know this….

"Members of the Richmond Fire Department and the Norfolk Police Department Harbor Patrol dive teams spotted the body at approximately 8:36 a.m. as they were preparing to enter the water to conduct a search [for Collins]," Richmond Police spokesman Gene Lepley said. "Investigators will now work to identify the body and uncover the circumstances surrounding his death."

The body was discovered near Dock and 20th Streets in Shockoe Bottom.

Crews from Norfolk Police Department's Harbor Unit were in Richmond using a piece of high-tech sonar equipment to assist in the search for Collins when crews walking along the canal banks spotted a body in the water.

River Body

Last month police and fire crews searched the same canal for signs of Collins.  Collins, 24, was reported missing after he left a Shockoe nightclub on April 5.

Randall William Collins

Randall William Collins

Police said they first searched the canal last month after a bloodhound led them to the water’s edge.

Collins Grandmother tells CBS 6 she is hoping for the best, but preparing for the worse.

And has this message for members of the Richmond's Fire Department's dive team involved in the search.

"I just hope and pray you won't give up trying to find him.  We've racked our brain.  We've talked to all of his friends that we know," said Owens.  "If somebody out there know where he is, please let somebody know.  That's all I ask."

The CBS 6 Problem Solvers are Working For You.

Contact the CBS 6 Problem Solvers

📱 Download CBS 6 News App
The app features breaking news alerts, live video, weather radar, traffic incidents, closings and delays and more.