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Body of missing Va. officer found

Saturday - 10/25/2008, 4:22pm  ET

frank.jpg
Frank Stecco was honored twice for his bravery in the line of duty. (Photo courtesy of Fairfax County Police)
WASHINGTON—Fairfax County police say the body of a police officer who went missing in the Pohick Bay has been found.

Police tell WTOP Radio the body of 42-year-old Lt. Frank Stecco was recovered Saturday. Divers found his body just 100 feet from where he was reported missing.

Stecco participated in a helicopter water rescue exercise on Tuesday when he disappeared. He volunteered to participate in the training exercise.

Divers conducted what is described as a 'hand by hand' search because conditions were so difficult.

"That water is very murky with a foot or less visibility down there," says Mary Ann Jennings, police spokesperson.

Fairfax County police chief Dave Rohrer says Stecco's death is a big blow for his department and community.

"My heart goes out to the family of our fallen officer," says Rohrer. "My heart goes out to the men and women of the Fairfax County police department. My heart goes out to the community who also feel the loss of a dedicated and professional officer."

Police are still investigating the circumstances of Stecco's death. An autopsy is planned.

Stecco's body was transported with full honors with a motorcycle escort to the medical examiner's office.

He had been a police officer with Fairfax County for the past 19 years. He is survived by his mother, wife and three children.

Video by WTOP's Patricia Guadalupe.

(Copyright 2008 by WTOP and Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)