Man found dead, submerged in water at Cheatham County cave

Robert Manly with his son. (Courtesy: Manly family)

CHEATHAM COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A man’s body was found submerged in water inside a Cheatham County cave on Wednesday.

The father of Robert “RJ” Manley found him just before 8:30 a.m. on Beulah Boulevard off Highway 41A in Pleasant View. Family told News 2 he had been missing since Sunday.

Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to the scene, including Pleasant View police, the Cheatham County Sheriff’s Office, and emergency medical personnel.

Photo: WKRN
Photo: WKRN

“We have a body in a cave submerged in water. Outdoor crime scenes are hard to process, so it makes it very complex,” said Dale Smith of the sheriff’s office.

The cause of Manley’s death was not immediately known. The investigation is ongoing.

News 2 spoke with the family’s pastor, Cecil Boswell, who has known RJ since he was a child.

“He was a fella who stayed to himself a lot, but he loved his family and loved everyone else. I don’t know anyone who was not a friend, so just pray for the family,” said Pastor Boswell.

News 2 also spoke to a friend of Manley’s who said the cave is an area that is frequently visited by the community.

“It’s just a big opening in the side of a hill, a big kind of rock opening,” said Cody Savage. “People go in there. Of course no one can see anything in there. It’s pitch black with a little creek in it.”

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