Bodies of Missing Kayakers Found

Posted on: 1:19 pm, April 26, 2013, by , updated on: 04:28pm, April 26, 2013

ERIE COUNTY, Ohio — Just a short time after the body of a young female was recovered from Lake Erie Friday afternoon, the body of a male was found, as well.

The male was discovered off the Cedar Point breakwall at about 2 p.m. FOX 8′s Jennifer Jordan reports the body has been positively identified as 30-year-old Jonathan Francis. He was identified through a tattoo on his left arm.

The female is believed to be that of 12-year-old missing kayaker, Viola Francis, the Erie County Sheriff’s Office tells Fox 8 News.

Viola and her father haven’t been seen since the first week of April, when they launched their kayaks from Crystal Rock and headed toward Edison Bridge.

Friday morning, crews from United States Coast Guard Marblehead were dispatched just after 11 a.m. after someone reported seeing a body about 8.5 miles north of the Vermilion River, a United States Coast Guard spokesperson said.

After the girl’s body was recovered, family members tentatively identified her based on descriptions of clothing and jewelry she was wearing on the day of her disappearance, Sheriff Paul Sigsworth told Fox 8 News.

Friday’s grim discovery reignited the search for Viola’s father. Crews from the Coast Guard, Border Patrol and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources scanned the waters where his daughter was believed to have been found.

Stick with Fox 8 News and FOX8.com for updates as they become available.

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