Officials have released the name of the man found dead Thursday in Belton Lake.

Larry Dixon, 54, of Killeen was reported missing at 5 p.m. Thursday after his friends dropped him off at Sparta Valley Park on Belton Lake nearly eight hours earlier, a spokesman for the Bell County Sheriff's Department said.

When the friends returned to the park at 4:30 p.m. to pick Dixon up they found only his fishing gear and clothes on the bank.

"It looks like he was fishing, got hot and decided to go for a swim," Lt. Donnie Adams of the Bell County Sheriff's Department said. 

"The cardinal rule is don't swim by yourself. He went swimming got in trouble and drowned."

Texas Parks and Wildlife located Dixon's body under water using sonar. Morgan's Point dive team recovered the body less than 100 yards from the Sparta Valley Park boat ramp at around 8 p.m. Thursday.

Bell County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Ted Duffield pronounced Dixon dead at 8 :30 p.m.

Dixon is the first drowning victim in Belton Lake this year. The body of 57-year-old James Harris of Harker Heights was recovered from Stillhouse Hollow Lake on June 11.

For more on this story see Saturday's Killeen Daily Herald.

Contact ​Brandon Janes at or (254) 501-7552

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