Missing Georgia man found dead in Talladega; no foul play suspected

The 28-year-old Georgia man who went missing at Talladega Superspeedway has been found deceased in a Jackson Shoals-area creek near the race track, a relative confirmed to ABC 33/40.

Nicholas Bower, a native of Indianapolis, Ind. and resident of Villa Rica, Ga., had been missing since May 4 and was last seen alive camping with friends in the South Park campgrounds at the track.

"I went to sleep and he stayed up with some friends after he came and helped me set up a little bed in the truck," Bower's girlfriend, Jennifer Boesch, said. "I woke up around 12:30. He wasn't anywhere to be found."

Relatives of Bower and investigators with the Talladega County Sheriff's Office launched a massive search effort using boats, dogs and aircraft May 5. His body, concealed by tall grass in the middle of the creek, was spotted by a police helicopter late Tuesday morning. It has been sent to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences in Montgomery for positive identification.

Release from Sheriff Jimmy Kilgore:

"At approximately noon today searchers located the body of Nicolas Bower in the creek at the Jackson Shoals area downstream from the old dam. This area was a short distance east of the bridge on Jackson Trace Road. Mr. Bower was spotted by searchers in a helicopter conducting an aerial search along the creek. The body had been concealed by tall grass on the middle of the creek where he was spotted today. Sheriff's investigators and searchers were guided to the location and recovered the body.

"Mr. Bower's remains were turned over to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for autopsy per order of the District Attorney. No foul play is suspected at this time and verification of the cause of death is pending.

"I would like at this time to thank the countless men and women from the many agencies and entities that assisted in the long search effort, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family members and friends of Mr. Bower."

A Twitter account set up by family members sent out a message shortly after 5 p.m. reporting the recovery of Bower's body and thanking people for their thoughts and prayers. A website, www.findnickbower.com, was also recently created with stories and photos of Bower.

Statement from Bower's girlfriend, Jennifer Boesch:{}

"Nick is a great guy. The love of my life. Nobody can light a candle to all the joy and love he has brought me. He will always be my Rock. I know he's watching down on me. Thank you"

ABC 33/40 will have more on this story on the news at 10 p.m.

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