Chaffee County Coroner: Body found in Arkansas River was young boy in rafting accident

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CHAFFEE COUNTY, Colo. — The body of a juvenile male was found Friday afternoon in the Arkansas River according to the Chaffee County Sheriff. Rescue crews have been searching for an 11-year-old boy from Golden who went missing after a rafting accident on the Arkansas on Wednesday.

Sheriff John Spezze said the body was found in the same set of rapids where the 11-year-old fell into the river.

The Chaffee County Coroner identified the body on Saturday as Drake Durkee from Golden.

The boy was on a commercial rafting trip with The Adventure Company when he and two others went into the river in a class 3 section in Browns Canyon about 11 miles north of Salida about 3:40 p.m. Wednesday.

The sheriff’s office said the raft high sided; the other two rafters were pulled to safety by other rafts.

About 63 searchers looked for the boy Thursday. Ground searchers walked the banks of the river and rafters floated the length of the canyon but could not find the boy. An air-scent dog was also deployed, as was a Flight for Life helicopter.

Meanwhile, the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office is also searching down river from Chaffee County after a passerby reported seeing a body floating in the river near Mackenzie. Overnight, Fremont County said its search was not related to that of the missing 11-year-old from Chaffee County.

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