Man found dead in river

The Prince William police dive team pulled a man’:s frozen body from underneath the dock his boat was tied to on the Occoquan River on Monday afternoon as his friends looked on.

Carl Duda, 45, of 8624 Lorfax Drive in Lorton, was pulled from the Occoquan’:s frigid waters on Marina Way off U.S. 1 after a search by dive team member Mike Hustwayte. Police believe Duda probably slipped, hit his head and fell into the water. Foul play does not appear to be a factor in his death, said 1st Sgt. Kim Chinn, a Prince William police spokeswoman.

Hustwayte spent about two minutes moving through a 12- to 15-feet grid of cold, sludgy water to locate the corpse, although police called in and waited for the OWL Volunteer Fire Department’:s rescue boat before taking it out of the water.

Duda’:s body was submerged behind his boat, Duda’:s Day, a Wellcraft 260 aft cabin in-board motorboat. Friend and neighbor Barry Hall identified the body. Duda was last seen at Gecko’:s restaurant in Woodbridge at about 9:40 p.m. Sunday, police said.

Friend Mark Davis notified police that Duda, his supervisor at Best Buy Foods, failed to show for work Monday morning. Duda, who arrived for his job at 4:45 a.m. each day, never missed work, Davis said. He then began placing calls to Duda’:s home to no avail; his wife was visiting family in New Jersey, Davis said. He called Best Buy Foods’: corporate headquarters in New Jersey as well, and they also failed to contact him.

Davis said he remembered that Duda sometimes liked to “get drunk and fall asleep” on his boat. So he and another friend went to the Wellcraft, where they found Duda’:s keys laying in the snow, and Davis called the police.

During the recovery, Officer David Hess went into the water to assist Hustwayte with the body. The two men stayed in the water with the body until the yellow rescue boat arrived.

Upon its arrival, officers standing on the dock helped Hess and Hustwayte pull Duda onto the rear of the boat. He was wearing blue jeans, white sneakers and had long, dark hair. His body was stiff and bent at the knees. His arms were suspended in the air above his body, stilted and unbudging in that position. Duda’:s hands, gray and ghostly, hung above mid-torso; his gold wedding band stood out against the pale skin of his hands. Police carefully photographed the scene and the body as it came out of the water.

“Carl was a normal, great guy,” Hall said. “He worked every day and enjoyed boating. The only thing he enjoyed more than boating was his wife.”

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