The body of Christopher Johnson, a Lancaster County Marine who went missing while he was boating last week, was found Wednesday afternoon in the Susquehanna River.

Johnson, 24, of Manor Township, was reported missing after his boat was found run ashore near Long Level in York County. Emergency crews searched for four days before scaling back the rescue operation.

Dr. Steven Diamantoni, Lancaster County's coroner, said Johnson's body was discovered about 12:45 p.m.

There is no reason to believe it a "suspicious death," Diamantoni said. He said the manner and cause of Johnson's death will be determined by an autopsy performed today by forensic pathologist Dr. Wayne Ross.

Johnson's body was found about a quarter-mile south of Green Branch Road, in Chanceford Township, by a group searching for him, said Lower Windsor Township Police Chief David Sterner. The group did not include family members, he said.

The body was removed from the water at Blue Rock Landing, on the Lancaster County side of the river. Sterner said the family wanted him to be taken out where he went in.

"I think the family's relieved," he said. "It brings them some closure."

Johnson served a few months in Iraq before he was shot in the right arm in 2004. He spent one year at Walter Reed Army Medical Center after he was injured, family members said.

Because he had lost his arm, family members initially questioned whether he had lost control of the boat.


He launched his boat from the Lancaster County side of the river early May 21. When his boat was found on the York County shoreline a few hours later, its ignition was in the "on" position, and his yellow Labrador retriever was still on board.

Steve Kearney worked with Johnson at the U.S. Department of Defense depot in New Cumberland. He said he was at a loss for words Wednesday after hearing the news that Johnson's body had been found.

"I'm kind of in a bad place right now with my feelings. I had been praying that he was someplace, getting himself together. I hoped he was OK," Kearney said.

After all Johnson had been through and seen while serving in the Iraq war, Kearney said Johnson deserved the nickname he gave him.

"I didn't even call him Chris. I called him hero," Kearney said. "He was a good man."