Police pulled the body of a Raleigh man missing from Lake Benson on Wednesday, ending a search that began over the weekend.
James Joseph Hipp, 26, apparently died of suicide, police said.
The search for Hipp began Sunday night when an officer saw a car in the parking lot at Lake Benson Park about 10 p.m. while on patrol, then returned and found it still there about 10:30 after answering another call, said police spokesman Lt. Chris Clayton.
Officers lock the park at night. Police contacted Hipp’s parents who said they did not know of any reason their son would be at the park, Clayton said.
Police then looked inside the car, found something that made them think Hipp might try to harm himself and began the search along with Wake County sheriff’s deputies. The park was closed Monday morning while officers searched for Hipp.
Hipp’s body was found shortly after 8 a.m. Wednesday by a boat operated by the Wake County Sheriff’s Office. His body has been sent to the medical examiner’s office for autopsy to determine the cause of death.
“This is so much out of my son’s character,” Lucy Durbin, Hipp’s mother said. “This was not my son. I don’t know what to say I don’t know what to do. I can’t believe that he is gone.”
She described him as a caring person, who everyone loved.
Origninally from Pennsylvani, Hipp lived with his mother and step-father in a mobile home park on Pamela Drive, in unincorporated Wake County. He worked at a Bojangles in Knightdale, his mother said.
Durbin said she last saw her son Saturday night when they were laughing and joking. She saw his light on with the door closed Sunday morning but did not go to see him.
Durbin left out and when she came back he was no longer there.
“I just figured he went to work like he always does on Sunday,” she said.
Durbin said when officers came to break the news she just collapsed. She couldn’t believe it.
“When she (the detective) told me I should sit down, I knew,” Dubin said. “This wasn’t him.”
The park reopened on Tuesday.