Posted by Lauren Thomson - email
HAMPSTEAD, NC (WECT) - A Hampstead fisherman found dead earlier this week has been identified by authorities.
Kelly Wayne Cooper, 53, left Surf City in his boat to fish early Monday. He was reported missing 12 hours later by his wife.
A Coast Guard rescue crew, searching New Topsail Inlet area and calling Cooper's cell phone to find out which cell tower he was closest to, found his body at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday.
His cause of death has not been determined by medical officials.
Cooper was described as "an avid fisherman who loved the water and outdoors" in his obituary. There will be a memorial service 3 p.m. Saturday at Andrews Mortuary in Hampstead.