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Fourth day of searches for missing boater fruitless

Crews work to recover the body of 44-year-old Jeffrey Nause who went missing in Lake Lanier on Saturday.

Crews work to recover the body of 44-year-old Jeffrey Nause who went missing in Lake Lanier on Saturday.

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Crews work to recover the body of 44-year-old Jeffrey Nause who went missing in Lake Lanier on Saturday.

BUFORD -- After a fourth day of searching, the CEO of an Atlanta company who jumped from a moving sailboat is still missing and believed drowned deep in Lake Lanier.

Search leaders believe the body of 44-year-old Jeffrey Nause could be in an area 78 to 94 feet deep, in timber-filled waters north of Lake Lanier Islands near the Legacy Lodge and Conference Center, said Hall County Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks.

On Monday afternoon, divers were searching locations identified by cadaver dogs loaned from Dawson County. Wilbanks said searches without the dogs continued in those areas Tuesday, to no avail.

Searches were expected to resume at 8:30 a.m. today.

Nause was last seen after midnight Saturday when he jumped from a friend's sailboat. Witnesses said he became distressed and went underwater. The case is being investigated as a boating accident, Wilbanks said.

The lake was too crowded on the weekend for divers to safely operate, and sonar searches yielded nothing, Wilbanks said. A Georgia Department of Natural Resources helicopter was dispatched Monday for air searches as eight boats searched at the surface, said DNR spokeswoman Robin Hill.

Hill said it's possible that alcohol was a factor.

"Without having a body, there's no testing that can be done to prove whether alcohol was involved or not," she said.

Nause, a Cobb County resident, is a Georgia Tech alum and the CEO of a semiconductor company called Cermet Inc.

Headquartered near Georgia Tech, Cermet develops semiconductors -- electrical components used with computer chips or other electronic devices -- for DVD and lighting, the company's website says.

Nause joined Cermet in 1996 as president and is credited with inventing Cermet's bulk semiconductor technology and launching its first compound semiconductor product line, according to a news release.