CHINA — After he went missing three and a half months ago, the body of teenage snowmobiler Richard “Shaw” Jackson was found Tuesday night by two fishermen.                                                

The fishermen found the body of the 18-year-old around 6 p.m. Tuesday in the west basin of China Lake, in an area known locally as “The Narrows,” according to Deborah Turcotte, spokeswoman for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The warden service announced the discovery late Tuesday night.

“The most important thing was to help the family,” Turcotte said today.

Jackson, student at Erskine Academy in South China, had been missing since Jan. 1. He was last seen snowmobiling near China Lake.

The fishermen were familiar with the massive six-day search for Jackson that followed his disappearance and when they discovered Jackson’s body they contacted authorities, according to Maj. Gregory Sanborn of the Maine Warden Service.

The Maine Warden Service said it was assisted by Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office in removing the body from the lake.

“We are appreciative that the efforts of these anglers resulted in Shaw being returned to his family,” Sanborn said.
Jackson’s family and the principal of Erskine Academy were notified Tuesday night.

Turcotte said today that Jackson’s snowmobile was not recovered and she didn’t know whether there were plans to search for it in the lake.

Jackson’s body “was brought to the funeral home and the medical examiner will determine the cause of death and at that point our part (in the investigation) is finished,” Turcotte said.

Jackson had last been seen leaving Pinkham’s Corner Fuel off Route 32, where he worked as part of a co-op program through the Capital Area Technical Center in Augusta.

He was believed to be heading home on his black Yamaha snowmobile, which had just been serviced, according to the warden service.

Dave Pinkham, owner of Pinkham’s Corner Fuel, said in an earlier interview that he was Jackson’s boss and got to know the 18-year-old well enough that “he was like my own kid.”

A month after Jackson was still missing, Pinkham said that Jackson continued be talked about each day since the search ended.

“Three, four times a day I meet somebody who will ask me about it. There’s a lot of heartfelt sorrow,” Pinkham said.

Pinkham said he would remember Jackson for his intelligence and work ethic.

“He had a very good head on his shoulders,” Pinkham said. “He was very ambitious; a good, hard worker.”

Wardens, police and volunteers spent the first four days of the search combing area snowmobile trails throughout China, Vassalboro and Winslow, but there were no signs of Jackson. The last two days of the search focused around a small island in the west basin of China Lake, called Bradley Island, where tracks were discovered leading to open water.

A hovercraft, several airboats, airplanes, a helicopter, snowmobiles, and sonar equipment were used during the search.

Wardens suspended the search for Jackson the night of Jan. 7 after consulting with his family.