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Body of man who drowned near Silver Beach identified

SAINT JOSEPH, Mich. - A small group of loved ones gathered Thursday morning at the Brotherhood of Nations Church of God in Christ in Benton Harbor, the place you’d most likely find 26-year-old Alexander Hines.

Hines’ body was identified by Saint Joseph City Police Thursday. The Coast Guard pulled his body from Lake Michigan near Silver Beach Tuesday afternoon.

“I couldn’t believe it until I saw the pictures from the police,” said Pastor James Atterberry, Hines’ pastor and uncle.

Atterberry said Hines was known as a loner. He found peace in spending time by himself. “That’s why unfortunately he wound up at the beach by himself,” said Atterberry.

“I was at the beach at the time and they said they pulled a body from the pier but I never assumed it was my brother,” said Earnestine Atterberry, Hines’ older sister.

Atterberry said she never knew Hines as the type to jump in the water. “I think he basically assumed it was something he could handle and he couldn’t,” she said. “Now he’s gone.”

According to police and witnesses Hines set his sunglasses down on the pier and jumped in the water.  Witnesses said Tuesday they saw Hines struggle and disappear under the water.

“I’ve seen some pretty tragic situations so you just got to get through it,” said Pastor Atterberry. “We’re going to miss him.”

Hines is being remembered as a young man of faith who enjoyed singing in the church choir.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been set.

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