Missing hunter Ryan Kennedy’s body recovered

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LAKE MEREDITH, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Lake Meredith park rangers have reported the body recovered from the bottom of Lake Meredith on May 6, 2020 is identified as Ryan Kennedy.

Kennedy had been missing since December 15, 2019 when he was attempting to cross the lake after a successful hunting trip.

Lake Meredith National Recreation Superintendent, Eric Smith said Kennedy’s body was ultimately found with sonar after searchers found his boat a little more than two weeks ago.

On Friday, May 1, Lake Meredith staff said they found and recovered a backpack and rifle adjacent to where the boat was found. The backpack and rifle were confirmed as belonging to Kennedy.

With a narrowed search area and a crew that wouldn’t stop looking, they found Kennedy.

The search lasted 143 days.

“For us, for the family, it was just a long process because we really didn’t have a good point last seen. Where we found the boat a couple of weeks ago and then ended up finding the body in the same area is just a little over two miles from where we found his stuff floating that first morning when we were searching.”

Smith said the medical examiner’s office identified the body as Kennedy and his preliminary cause of death was drowning.

Smith would like to thank all who assisted in the search and recovery of Ryan Kennedy and his belongings. “This has been a long frustrating search for all involved and difficult for Mr. Kennedy’s family. I am happy that the family will finally be able to have some level of closure.”

Smith also said Lake Meredith has been busy lately and he is taking this time to remind everyone about water safety.

“Take precautions when you’re recreating around the water because accidents can happen so fast. Wear a personal flotation device, don’t just have it in the boat with you. It can mean the difference between life and death.”


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