BOSTON – A body has been found in Boston Harbor, near the tourist area where a missing Navy sailor disappeared on Friday, according to local news reports.
Divers from the fire department discovered the body Wednesday near the Long Wharf pier, just opposite the New England Aquarium and an eatery where the cell phone of 26-year-old Petty Officer Dustin Willis turned up, Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald told The Boston Globe.
The body hasn't yet been positively identified, MacDonald told the newspaper, which ran the report on its Boston.com Web site.
The Navy destroyer USS Donald Cook departed Boston Harbor on Wednesday and headed toward Norfolk, Va., without the sailor, who disappeared during shore leave. The ship was in town for St. Patrick's Day.
Friends lost track of Willis during a snow storm at Quincy Market Friday night. He hasn't been seen or heard from since.
Willis' cell phone was later found on the ground in front of Legal Sea Foods, a restaurant on the Boston waterfront. Police say he used the phone earlier in the evening to call his girlfriend around 10 p.m. and his parents in North Carolina.
Divers on Wednesday had been searching the waters off Long Wharf, operating on the possibility that Willis might have become disoriented in the storm and fallen into the harbor.
A Navy spokesman described the sailor as "dependable and reliable" and said it would be out of character for him to just walk away.
Willis has been in the Navy four years and recently received an achievement medal.
Divers with the police department came to collect the remains that were found Wednesday and snapped underwater photos of area, the Globe reported.
Though there is no evidence thus far that foul play was involved in Willis' disappearance, detectives were treating the area of the harbor where the body turned up as a crime scene, according to the Globe.
Willis' girlfriend phoned him back on his mobile about 3 a.m. Saturday, according to police, and a Spanish-speaking man picked up.
She told authorities she could only understand enough to get a number from the person, and when she called, it turned out to be that of Legal Sea Foods.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.