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Body of missing kayaker found in Benbrook Lake after dayslong search, Texas Game Warden officials say

The 18-year-old had been kayaking on Benbrook Lake with friends before he disappeared in the water.
Credit: Courtesy Family

The body of Jose Reyes was found about a week after he was last seen kayaking with friends on Benbrook Lake, Texas Game Warden officials said. 

Reyes, an 18-year-old recent Everman High School graduate, was last seen the evening of March 21 on Benbrook Lake when he disappeared in the water. His brother, Juan, told WFAA it was Jose's first time kayaking, and the winds were high. The kayak was found days before officials recovered Reyes' body. 

Texas Game Wardens, the Benbrook Fire Department and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were involved in the search.

RELATED: 'It's not easy; it's my baby brother': Family desperate to find missing kayaker in Benbrook Lake

Game Warden Captain Cliff Swofford, who spoke with media at the scene Thursday, said their hearts go out to the Reyes family and said Texas Parks and Wildlife were committed to finding him.

"This is what we do. We will not quit," Swofford said. "We’re not going to go anywhere until closure is had for the family."

On Saturday night, Swofford said members of the Fort Worth Fire Department dive team recovered his body that afternoon after game wardens found an image on the side scan sonar.

Officials had a difficult time finding Reyes, Swofford explained, because it is a tough lake to search; there are so many trees under the water that they can't use the preferred specialized sonar they'd like to. Instead, they were using the side-scan sonar, which can be problematic to use if too many boats are nearby.

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