Search and rescue teams find 88-year-old Chapel Hill man dead after wife wakes up to him missing

CHATHAM COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- An 88-year-old man from Chapel Hill was found dead in Chatham County on Wednesday, days before Christmas.

Thomas Kelly went missing on Wednesday. His wife woke up and couldn't find him around 4 a.m., authorities said.

Kelly is typically an early riser and is often seen at a local lake near the area where he was found, according to Chatham County Sheriff's Office.

Several search and rescue teams from neighboring towns and counties helped in the search in the Governors Lake community, a residential area in southern Chapel Hill.

"Our hearts go out to the Kelly family, including his wife and loved ones, friends and neighbors who will undoubtedly miss his presence, especially this time of year," says Chatham County Sheriff Mike Roberson. "It is a heartbreaking outcome for all involved."

"We would like to express our sincere thanks to the first responders and specialized units who reported to the scene, as well as members of the public and media who helped spread the word and aid with the search," Roberson says. "It was a true community effort in a time of need."

Authorities don't suspect foul play.
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