Body Found on Golf Course Is Missing Potato Chip Scion

PHOTO The body of a man believed to be the missing heir of an Alabama potato chip fortune, was found today floating in a Birmingham golf course pond, police told ABC News.com.

The body of a man found floating in a Birmingham golf course pond has been identified as the missing heir to an Alabama potato chip fortune, police said today.

Three golfers saw the body floating in the pond Monday. Police said investigators used dental records Tuesday to determine the remains found were those of Major Bashinsky, a 63-year-old lawyer from Mountain Brook, Ala., who went missing on March 3.

Chief Deputy Pat Curry said the cause of death has not been determined. Curry said he did not know how long Bashinsky had been in the water.

Chief Johnny Stanley, of the Mountain Brook Police Department, told The Associated Press that "We still don't know if we have a homicide or a suicide."

Contrary to other media reports, Stanley said Bashinsky was not in a bag when his body was found.

The Bashinsky family is the majority shareholder in the investment company that owns Golden Enterprises, a regional chip manufacturer that had $122 million in sales in the last fiscal year.

Bashinsky was last seen at a Birmingham office building on March 3. His car was found several days later, just two miles from the Highland Park Golf Course, where the body was discovered.

On March 4, Golden Enterprises received an anonymous letter critical of the Bashinsky family for making millions of dollars at the expense of the company's workers, according to the Birmingham News.

The letter compared the family's business practices to "vampires."

When reached by ABCNews.com, no one at Golden Enterprises, maker of Pork Cracklin Strips and Golden Flake potato chips, said they were authorized to speak about the letter.

Through an investment company controlled by Bashinsky's stepmother, the family owns a majority 44.5 percent stake of Golden Enterprises stock, or 5.2 million shares, which amounts to dividends of $624,000 annually, according to the Birmingham News.

Bashinsky had no direct involvement with Golden Enterprises' business operations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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