The body of a 48-year-old scuba diver from Jersey City who had gone missing in a former Putnam County iron mine he frequented has been found nearly 200 feet underwater, authorities said Monday.
Robert Thomas' remains were found in the former Tilly Foster iron mine in Southeast shortly before 1 p.m. Monday, about 12 hours after he vanished while diving with two colleagues. Authorities say they used sonar and camera equipment to find his body at a depth of 171 feet.
An autopsy will be conducted to determine how Thomas died. Preliminary reports indicate he may have become entangled in wires or cables on the bottom of the flooded mine shaft, which has water ranging from 175 to 600 feet deep. The bottom is littered with wrecked cars and trucks, old mining equipment and other debris.
Thomas has been described as a very experienced technical diver who had gone diving in the former iron mine many times in the past.