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Fisherman catches human body in Polk County

Investigators are trying to figure out how the man died.

AUBURNDALE, Fla. — Two men were out fishing when one of them unexpectedly hooked a body and began to reel it in, police say.

It happened around 3:30 p.m. Monday along the shoreline of Lake Stella, not far from the intersection of Lake Stella Drive at North Main Street near downtown Auburndale.

Authorities say the fishermen were casting their lines from the grassy banks when one of them hooked something that felt heavy. As he began reeling it, he realized it looked like a man. One of the two fishermen called his dad, who rushed over and confirmed it was a human body. Immediately, the group dialed 911.

Police responded to the scene and figured out the 40-year-old dead man was somebody who lived in the area and had recently returned to the region. It appeared he was probably in the water for 1-2 days, according to law enforcement.

"There were no obvious signs of trauma, though this is a medical examiner case," the Auburndale Police Department wrote in an update. "An autopsy is pending."

Investigators say it could be several days before the medical examiner determines the man's cause of death. 

As of late Tuesday morning, police had been unable to contact the dead man's family. Officers are still attempting to reach his next of kin, and they have not released his name in the meantime.

Anyone who may have seen something over the last weekend is asked to call Auburndale Police Detective Alex Pena at 863-965-5555. 

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