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Body identified at Rocky Fork Lakes Conservation Area


The Missouri State Highway Patrol has identified the body found at Rocky Fork Lakes Conservation area north of Columbia as Michael Smith of St. Louis.

A Boone County Sheriff's Office spokesman told ABC 17 News at about 9:30 a.m. Monday that the body had been found. Foul play is not suspected at this time and an autopsy will be done, but the investigation continues.

The Boone County Medical Examiner's Office pronounced Smith, 61, dead at the scene at 8:40 a.m.

Searchers had been looking for a missing man who was fishing with two friends over the weekend, Boone County Fire Protection Battalion Chief Clint Walker said. The other men made a run into town and when they got back to the conservation area, the other fisherman was gone, Walker said.

Captain Brain Leer with The Boone County Sheriff's Department says, "as the investigation continued the focus really went from search and rescue to a search and recovery because the belief was he probably was in the body of water and drowned."

Cpt. Leer says, the Boone County Sheriff's Office, The Missouri State Highway Patrol and The Boone County Fire Protection District all helped in the search and will be looking at all aspects of the investigation.

"There was no boat involved he was on foot and we're still trying to figure out the exact timeline leading up to him falling in the water and in between the last time he was seen and when we were able to recover his body," Leer said.

First responders said the man had been missing for two hours before crews arrived at the scene Sunday.

Walker said people going missing at the conservation area isn't common.

"Not a whole lot. This is the first time in a while that we've come across someone missing while fishing," said Walker.

Emergency crews initially searched the conservation area on Sunday. An ABC 17 News crew at the scene saw crews use a drone, rescue boats and other equipment to look for the missing man.

Article Topic Follows: Boone

Joushua Blount

Joushua Blount hails from Cleveland, Ohio and has a bachelor’s degree in media communications from the University of Toledo. He also has a master’s degree from the University Of Alabama. Roll Tide!


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