Charlotte Man, Son Found in Thornapple Lake

By: Tony Tagliavia
By: Tony Tagliavia

"We got both our babies back," Myra Bruce said Monday. She's the father of Jeffrey Bruce, and the grandfather of three-year-old Grant Bruce.

The day marks a bittersweet end to more than a week of questions without many answers for the Bruce Family.

"We were beginning to wonder: Where were they?" Myra Bruce said.

Now, there are some answers.

Grant's body was found between 8:15 and 8:30 a.m. Monday. The body of his father, Jeffrey, surfaced about eight hours later.

"Within a few feet of where we found Grant," Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf explained.

It's believed colder water temperatures kept the bodies below the surface longer than was expected.

The father and son were found in the waters of Thornapple Lake near Howard's Point, the place where the pair's boat was discovered late last week.

"I'm sure that they were together from the reports they were getting," Myra Bruce said.

One small piece of comfort for a woman who's lost a son and a grandson after days of uncertainty.

Days of searching in the water, on the surface and from the air. Days that the family says were made more bearable by the support of so many friends, so many law enforcement personnel, so many strangers.

"Some of these guys have been on the water, daybreak til 11 o'clock at night or after," Randy Bruce, Jeffrey's brother, said.

"You don't know how to thank them really," said Wally Bruce, Jeffrey's father.

Thankful for their comfort and support at a time of loss.

"My boys are gone up to heaven, I know that," Myra Bruce said. "But now we've got their bodies back."

Jeffrey Bruce is survived by his wife and an 18-month-old daughter.


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