CLEMENTON — The body of missing U.S. Marine Lance James was found Friday in a South Jersey lake and authorities are investigating how he got there.

James' sister Jessica Hassan posted the news on her Facebook page Saturday morning and thanked the police agencies and volunteers that were part of the search.

"We are all still in shock right now and trying to come to terms that it is true and he is really gone," Hassan wrote. "Our family will never be the same, we are forever changed as our Lance was taken from us much too soon."

James went to the Hide-A-Way Tavern in Clementon on Dec. 2  but was escorted out after some sort of altercation with another patron. He left his jacket and cell phone behind and left on foot because he does not own a car. He was never heard from again.

6ABC Action News reported that his body was found during a second search of Bottom Lake after ice had broken up in the warmer weather of the past few days.

"We try to be very persistent when we get involved in a case, and we don't wanna stop until it's done," Thomas Yohanson, Burlington County K-9 Search & Rescue said according to the report. Bottom Lake is a couple of miles south of the HIde-A-Way.

According to a GoFundMe page created by Hassan to raise funds for a search for her brother, James served two tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and suffered PTSD and depression. He also was father to a 5-year-old girl.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

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