BELTON — A kayaker missing since early Monday afternoon was found dead just before 4 p.m. Tuesday in Belton Lake.
The man, a Bell County corrections officer, was identified as Eddie Crain, 60, of Belton.
Bell County Maj. T.J. Cruz said Crain was with the Bell County Sheriff’s Department for about nine years and will be greatly missed.
An empty kayak found near the Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area on Fort Hood led to the search, Morgan’s Point Resort Fire Chief Taran Vaszozc-Williams said.
Crain’s body was found in the water about a mile from the kayak, Cruz said.
Multiple agencies helped with the search. The search was taken over mid-afternoon Tuesday by the Bell County Sheriff’s Department. Assisting the department were Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife game wardens and the Belton Fire Department, according to Cruz.
The search was concentrated near Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area and at Frank’s Marina near the Belton Dam.
Cruz said the kayaker left Frank’s Marina at about 1 p.m. The kayak was found between the marina and BLORA on Fort Hood — which left a large area of water and land to search, Cruz said.
The missing man’s vehicle was found Monday near the marina and, when searched, a Bell County Sheriff’s Department cap was found inside it.
With the flooded conditions from the recent heavy rain events, the lake has a lot of obstacles underneath the surface of the water.
Water was released both Monday and today at about 4,709 cubic feet per second from the lake, which is more than 12 feet above normal elevation. The elevation is currently 605.66 feet, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Most of the area parks are closed due to flooding.
Just a week ago, two empty kayaks were found in the Leon River. Fortunately, after a search by several agencies, the two individuals were safe after they got separated from their kayaks. Temple and Belton Police officers and firefighters, along with firefighters from Morgan’s Point Resort and Texas Parks and Wildlife game wardens, searched for them.