Jacob Butterfield

Jacob Butterfield

The body of a young Stafford County man who had been missing since the latter part of January was found in the Rappahannock River late Thursday, authorities said.

Jacob David Butterfield, 23, was last seen alive in downtown Fredericksburg early Jan. 26. According to court records, friends saw him running on Caroline Street toward the river and never saw him again. His family notified Fredericksburg police that he was missing a few days later, after learning that he hadn’t shown up for work.

Stafford Sheriff’s spokeswoman Amanda Vicinanzo said two fisherman were at the river just before 11 p.m. Thursday when they saw what appeared to be a body floating near the Little Falls boat launch.

Vicinanzo said they immediately notified law enforcement. Members of the Sheriff’s Office and fire and rescue workers found the body and removed it from the river. The victim was later identified as Butterfield.

Vicinanzo said the cause of death has not yet been determined, though there were no obvious signs of foul play. The body has been sent to the medical examiner to determine the cause of death.

Stafford authorities are handling the investigation because the river is considered part of the county.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404


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