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Man missing from Figure Eight Island found dead in car

Published: Apr. 22, 2012 at 9:58 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 27, 2012 at 10:34 AM EDT
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Benjamin Robert Williamson (Source: New Hanover Co. Sheriff's Office)
Benjamin Robert Williamson (Source: New Hanover Co. Sheriff's Office)

FIGURE EIGHT ISLAND, NC (WECT/AP) - The body of a prominent New York executive has been found in a car pulled from the water at Figure Eight Island.

According to the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office, Benjamin Robert Williamson, 55, was found inside a submerged car off a boat ramp in the area.

Family members reported Williamson missing early Sunday. They say he was last seen at 10 Beachbay Lane on Figure Eight Island at approximately 2 a.m. Sunday morning.

Detectives worked with the SABLE helicopter and the Sheriff's Dive Unit in the search.

No foul play is suspected, but detectives will continue to investigate.

Family members said Williamson was originally from Raleigh but was visiting from New York, where he currently lives.

Williamson was managing director and portfolio manager of hedged U.S. equities strategy at Chilton Investment Co.

Chilton released the following statement about the incident:

Chilton Investment Company mourns the sudden and tragic passing of our friend and colleague, B. Robert Williamson, Jr.   Robert joined Chilton in January 2011 as a portfolio manager of one of our investment strategies, Chilton U.S. Hedged Equities.  Before coming to Chilton, he co-founded the investment firm Williamson McAree. Over the years, Robert's funds have delivered robust returns for his investors.

Robert was a dear friend, and he will be missed.  His curiosity, enthusiasm, intellect, and passion for stock picking were gifts he shared with all who knew him.  We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family at this extremely sad time.

Richard L. Chilton, Jr., Chilton Investment Company's Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer will oversee the Chilton U.S. Hedged Equities fund.  Additional information will be provided to the fund's investors shortly.

Copyright 2012 WECT. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.