Payson man apparently drowns; body recovered from reservoir

Payson man apparently drowns; body recovered from reservoir

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FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The body of a Payson man who apparently drowned in the Blue Ridge Reservoir in northern Arizona has been recovered.

Coconino County Sheriff's officials said 32-year-old Austin Smith reportedly was swimming in the reservoir Sunday evening when he went under water near the boat ramp and never resurfaced.

They say a search of the immediate area was conducted using boats belonging to bystanders, but Smith wasn’t found.

Darkness suspended search operations until Monday morning.

The Gila County Sheriff’s Office dive team and Tonto Rim Search and Rescue crew did an underwater search and Smith’s body was located about 11:30 a.m.

The body was transferred to the custody of the Coconino County Office of the Medical Examiner and authorities said an investigation into the incident is ongoing.

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