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Payson man apparently drowns; body recovered from reservoir

Posted at 7:04 PM, Jun 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-23 22:04:14-04

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Coconino County Sheriff's officials say the body of a Payson man who apparently drowned in the Blue Ridge Reservoir has been recovered.

They say 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.

Sheriff's officials 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 say an investigation into the incident is ongoing.