Body found in area where Buena Vista teen went missing in Clear Creek Reservoir


GRANITE, Colo. (KDVR) — Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) report a body was found on Monday in the search area of Clear Creek Reservoir where a teenage boy went missing on Saturday.

A search and rescue for a Buena Vista high school student launched at Clear Creek Reservoir State Wildlife Area in Chaffee County late Saturday has become a recovery effort on Sunday.

The teen went missing after the canoe he was riding in with a friend capsized while they were duck hunting.

The teens fell in the water when their canoe flipped in strong winds shortly before 5 p.m., witnesses told CPW officers. The water where the incident happened is estimated to be 30 to 50 feet deep.

“The winds the waves apparently caused them to go into the water as they were trying to paddle into shore to the parking lot, the canoe itself and other items were found across the lake on the other side of the dam, so that gives you an idea how bad things were,” CPW Public Information Officer Bill Vogrin said on Sunday.

The mother of one boy and the father of the other were on shore. The father swam out to the canoe while two CPW officers helped as he rescued one of the boys, Jim Aragon, CPW Area Wildlife Manager for the region said.

“Shortly before 5 pm the dad of one of the boys also arrived, he went into the water. We had tied a rope on to him. He was able to rescue one of the boys, the son of the woman who was there, but on his way back to shore he started to suffer and officers went in to get them both,” Vogrin said.

As darkness set in, they were unable to locate the other boy in the frigid waters.

Several units including a specialized CPW Marine Evidence Recovery Team and a CPW search team using an underwater drone equipped with sonar, lights and video camera, are involved in the search.

“They are scanning this lake they are reaching depths of 45 feet and they’ll continue to go be here as long as necessary. We’ll bring in more resources in the morning if necessary,” Vogrin said.

A statement from Lisa Yates, superintendent of the Buena Vista School District said:

Our school district is heartbroken at the tragedy these families are experiencing. It was after our homecoming parade yesterday, a simple tradition we were providing for our students in the midst of COVID, even without football, that the accident happened. The boys were preparing to duck hunt before their canoe capsized in the icy waters. 

We will be surrounding both families, one of the mothers is a beloved teacher at our high school as well, in coming days. 

Support will be available at each of our schools as siblings attend elementary through high school. 

We are thankful for our first responders who have been working the scene and for this strong community who comes together in tragedy.

Clear Creek Reservoir is a popular fishing lake and offers deer, elk and waterfowl for hunting. It is located about 15 miles north of Buena Vista just west of U.S. Highway 24.

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