UPDATE: Since we originally posted this story, the body has been identified as missing hunter Ryan Kennedy.
FRITCH – Lake Meredith National Recreation Area staff have located and recovered a human body while searching for the hunter that went missing on December 15, 2019. The body was located using high resolution sidescan sonar on May 5, 2020 and recovered from the lake on May 6, 2020. The body is being sent to Lubbock for autopsy and positive identification. The body was found approximately 1000 feet from where the boat belonging to the missing hunter was located and recovered. On Friday May 1, 2020 Lake Meredith staff located and recovered a backpack and rifle adjacent to where the boat was located. The backpack and rifle were confirmed as belonging to the missing hunter. National Park Service Submerged Resources Division sent their towed sidescan sonar unit and an operator back to Lake Meredith to aid in the concentrated search around the location where the boat and pack were found. The sidescan search took place from May 3rd to 5th.
Lake Meredith National Recreation Area Superintendent, Eric Smith would like to thank all who have assisted in the search. “While it was a team effort to locate and recover the boat, belongings and body, it was through sheer determination and unwillingness to give up by one of Lake Meredith’s team members that this search is potentially coming to a close” said Smith. Smith also would like to recognize the National Park Service Submerged Resources Division for their invaluable assistance.
Superintendent Smith would like to remind all visitors to the lake to remember the risks when recreating around water. Take steps to mitigate those risks such as always wearing a personal flotation device, ensure weight in your boat is evenly distributed and the boat not overloaded, watch the weather and delay your travel on the lake during high wind/wave times and take extra precautions when traveling on the water at night.
For additional information, please call Lake Meredith National Recreation Area at 806- 857-3151.