An autopsy of a man found dead in Hammonton Lake on Monday has ruled the preliminary cause of death was drowning, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office said Tuesday.

Charles “Chuck” J. Carley, 45, had been reported missing by family members Friday, said his father, Richard Carley, of Deptford Township, Gloucester County.

Family members were notified Monday afternoon that the body was that of Charles Carley, Richard Carley said.

The Prosecutor’s Office said Charles Carley lived in Waterford Township, Camden County, but his father said he lived in Franklin Township, Gloucester County.

The victim was apparently camping illegally in the state-owned Smith Conservation Area near Hammonton Lake, Hammonton Mayor Steve DiDonato said Monday.

Charles Carley worked at Mazzarelli’s Lawn Ornaments on South Egg Harbor Road in Hammonton and had fought with his longtime girlfriend Thursday night before disappearing, his father said.

Mazzarelli’s is located directly across the road from the entrance to Hammonton Lake Park, but the body was located farther north in the water, off private property.

Anyone with information pertaining to this death is asked to call Major Crimes at 609-909-7800 or the Hammonton Police Department at 609-567-4300.

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