Crews find 2 bodies in search for missing Va. boaters

The search for a Virginia couple who went missing while boating on the Potomac River may be over. Crews found two bodies in the area where the couple disappeared. FOX 5's Lauren DeMarco has more.

Search crews have found two bodies in the area where two people went missing in the Potomac River.

The Stafford County Sheriff's Office received a call around 11 p.m. Wednesday reporting that 55-year-old Melissa Smarr and 58-year-old Charles Zintner had not returned to their boat.

The body of a man was found Thursday afternoon by a Good Samaritan on a boat, according to authorities. His body was floating and he was not wearing a life vest. Later in the day, a female body was also found in the river.

The incident is still under investigation. The autopsy of both bodies will take a couple days.

"We do not know what the cause was for at least one person in the water -- whether it was mechanical reasons or involuntarily going into the water -- that's still under investigation," said Maryland Natural Resources Police Lt. Shawn Garren.

Neighbors are in shock. They say Zintner was an engineer and NASCAR enthusiast, while Smarr, who went by Missy, leaves behind an adult son.

Someone placed flowers at driveway of the home in Stafford, Virginia, which friends say the two had lived at together for the past 17 years. One man who lives across the street told FOX 5, "They were the happiest couple you could ever imagine seeing, they loved each other very much."

Zintner and Smarr left early Wednesday afternoon from a yacht club in Virginia. When they didn't come back by 11 p.m., a friend called police.

A Maryland State Police helicopter spotted their boat and the Coast Guard boarded it and saw that it had been recently occupied. There was food and a plate was overturned. The boat was anchored and the engine was still running, but there was no more fuel.

The Coast Guard said boating accidents are unfortunately fairly common this time of the year. But this one was unique because boating accidents are usually people who don't have experience or had been drinking.

"These are two very experienced boaters," said Commander Michael Keane, chief of response for Coast Guard Sector Baltimore. "They are in a very close-knit community from Lockwood Yacht Club. From the information I have, they have been out a lot, and so from that perspective, it was a little unusual."

Keane also said that everyone on the water this summer should learn a lesson from this tragedy.

"It's kind of like when you're driving a car, it's hard to put your seatbelt on in the middle of an accident, and so we really encourage -- no matter when -- you wear your life jacket any time you are on a boat," he said.

The Coast Guard commander said they are sorry for this tragedy and are in touch with their families.

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