Missing Cape Coral man identified as body found in canal

Reporter: Dannielle Garcia Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:
(Credit: WINK News)

Cape Coral police have identified the body found in a canal in Cape Coral as missing 22-year-old Jeremiah Don Ballam Jr.

This is heartbreak. The moments after members of JJ Ballam’s family say divers found his body in a Cape Coral canal. Police say Ballam was last seen leaving Backstreets Bar around 3:30 Sunday morning. After that, nothing.

“I was like sometimes I don’t hear from him for a couple of months sometimes he gets busy I get busy and then they were like well his dad hasn’t heard from him either and my heart sank just at that if anyone’s going to hear from him it’s his dad,” said Ballam’s brother Caleb Whitcomb.

While detectives say they do not suspect foul play, that doesn’t make it easier for those who knew and loved him. “A part of me is still denying that it’s even real and another part of me is incredibly mad that it happened to him,” said Whitcomb.

Ballam worked at Rusty’s Raw Bar and Grill. There’s a sign on the door now telling customers the restaurant is closed for the day. On Facebook, Rusty’s posted that employees need time to grieve Ballam’s loss.

“We talked a lot about his future, his plans. Sorry, he uh… I can’t help but smile thinking about him because he was just you know we got in our little scuffles like brothers do but at the end of the day I love him more than anything,” said Whitcomb.

He can’t help but smile because he can’t help but think about the life he had, and the time they got to spend together

“When JJ was around people were having fun. That’s always been the case. He loves making people laugh. At least the last time I saw him I gave him a big hug and I told him I love him I told him to be safe,” Whitcomb said.

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