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Body found in Appomattox River ID’d as missing man

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COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. -- Police in Colonial Heights say the body recovered in the Appomattox River, near Archer Avenue Thursday morning, is that of a man last seen on New Year's Day.

Police said a man came forward Thursday morning and told them he found several items down by the Appomattox River that seemed out of place. The man told them he thought it could be related to the disappearance of 58-year-old Matthew Nichols.

Nichols was last seen at Wawa in the 600 block of Boulevard in Colonial Heights on January 1.

Matty Nichols

Matthew Nichols

According to his family, he was headed to the Appomattox River to go fishing. Family members were at the Appomattox River Thursday morning searching for Nichols along the water.

Family members were at the Appomattox River Thursday morning searching for Nichols along the water.

Family members were at the Appomattox River Thursday morning searching for Nichols along the water.

"The deceased was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and positively identified as Matthew Nichols, who had been reported missing on January 1st, 2016,” Sgt. Robert L Ruxer III said Friday afternoon.

Police credited the tip with cracking the case.

“It was crucial, this person seeing this information we put out on social media and was shared by media. After seeing that the person remembered what they saw and where they saw it, brought that information to us, which allowed us to discover the location of the body,” Ruxer said.