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Friends remember ETX fisherman who died on lake

Published: Sep. 5, 2012 at 9:59 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 19, 2012 at 10:04 PM CDT
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SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV)

After hours of searching, crews recovered the body of an East Texas fisherman. Justin Thore, 29, was found this morning at Pleasure Acres Lake, near Chapel Hill.
A couple says Justin had been homeless, and they took him in about a month and a half ago and taught him to fish. They say they loved Justin like a son and are devastated by this news.
Richard and Teresa Burton stood away from the shore stunned by their friend's death. They say Justin had been living with them for nearly two months. 

"We shared as one big family is what we did, in hopes that everything would be okay," said Richard.

Richard said he looked after Justin like a son. He said the two spent a lot of time together on the water.
     
"He always wanted to learn how to fish and as a pro fisherman, I took him out there. We fished together and he caught his first bass," he said.

Authorities say it appears Justin drowned. Richard says it was only Justin's second time alone on the boat. 

"Day before yesterday he was out there for about five hours and he came back with no problems and last night he didn't come back and we started looking for him," said Richard.

Authorities searched through the night for Justin. Richard says he's thankful he was able to be a part of Justin's life, even if only for a short time.     

"We loved the boy. We told him he's our family even though he had no family, he had us," said Richard. 
Authorities say they've requested an autopsy.
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