Westerville News & Public Opinion

Body found in pond was local resident last seen in January


A man found dead in a Far East Side retention pond on Friday evening, March 14, had been missing from his Westerville home since January, Westerville police reported.

James M. Martin, 38, was found by a passer-by around 7:30 p.m. in the Waterford Park residential development off Taylor Station Road. Columbus police divers found Martin’s car at the bottom of the pond.

Martin’s body had been there for months, Franklin County Coroner Jan Gorniak said March 14. The small pond is in a part of the complex still under construction.

Gorniak said an autopsy was to be completed over the weekend. She did not know whether foul play was suspected.

Martin, who lived with his parents in Westerville, was last seen alive on Jan. 2 at a Reynoldsburg bar, about 5 miles from where he was found.

An investigative report from Westerville police noted that a co-worker who saw him at the bar said that Martin “probably shouldn’t have been driving.”

He didn’t show up for work the next morning.

He was reported missing by his mother to Westerville police on Jan. 6.

Dispatch reporter Jeb Phillips contributed to this story.