Body of missing kayaker recovered

ADAMS COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – On Monday morning, police resumed the search for a missing Decatur man who was last seen kayaking on the Saint Mary’s River on Friday. At about 10:15 on Monday, members of the Decatur Fire Department found a body they believe to be 54-year-old Steven Seitz.

Indiana Conservation Officers and other emergency personnel had been searching Seitz for since Friday evening.

Seitz and and another man were kayaking on the river Friday in the 2700 block of North U.S. 33 when his kayak struck a log jam and overturned, according to conservation officers.

“Officers searched the area where Seitz was last seen and downstream, checking log jams and other obstructions for any signs of Seitz’s body,” said Indiana Conservation Officer Sgt. Patrick Heidenreich. “High water and swift currents and risk of entrapment have prevented divers from searching the area.”

Officers said Seitz was not wearing a life jacket and they were called once Seitz did not resurface.

Officers said conditions on the river made it difficult to locate the kayaker.

“We would advise people to use extreme caution if they’re going in or near the river because of the moving water,” Heidenreich said.  “We’d encourage everyone that if they’re going to be in or around any body of water that they wear a life jacket.”

The search began Friday around 8:20 p.m. Efforts started back up again Saturday morning and again on Sunday.

Conservation officers searched the rivers using SONAR technology and divers when possible.

A plane was also used in the search.


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