Correction: A previous version of this story said Eric Smith had confirmed a boat found in the lake belonged to Ryan Kennedy. It was not Kennedy’s boat.
FRITCH, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The search continues for Ryan Kennedy, a Canyon man who went missing at Lake Meredith back in December.
Monday is Day 44 in the search for Kennedy, who went missing Dec. 15, 2019. Kennedy had been hunting and camping when he went missing, according to officials.
Eric Smith, the superintendent of Lake Meredith National Recreation Area and the Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument, said the search team is conducting daily surface searches now.
He said after doing extensive research, he found this would be the 76th drowning on the lake since 1965.
Smith said after using their high-resolution side-scan to search more than 1,000 acres—in the areas with the highest probability of finding Kennedy—there is no need to continue scanning. Instead, they will bring in a cadaver dog to help search.
Including all 76 drownings on the lake, Smith said only eight happened during the winter. The three longest searches were 152 days, 177 days and 145 days.
“If you take three cases out of 76 this is how we were looking at it to start, there’s very small percentage chance that it’s going to take a long time to find the victim,” Smith said. “However, if you take the summertime drownings away and just look at the wintertime drownings, three of eight is a fairly significant percentage of ones that took a long time to locate the victims.”
Smith said it is discouraging to have no answers yet but he is in constant contact with Kennedy’s family ad he has hope they will get closure soon.
The remaining areas in the lake where they could potentially find Kennedy are too difficult for divers to search.
As we previously reported, Smith has confirmed searchers found the engine of a boat in the lake which did not belong to Kennedy. Both his truck and boat trailer were found with no sign of him. Several of his belongings were also found in the water.
If you have any information on his location you’re asked to contact authorities.
Smith reiterated the importance of water safety, saying everyone on the lake—no matter how much expertise they have—needs to have personal flotation devices and wear them.
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