Body of missing kayaker found Saturday on Crystal River

Staff reports
A kayaker went missing Thursday evening on the Crystal River in the "Meatgrinder" section near Redstone.
Heather Marine / Special to Colorado Mountain News Media

Searchers recovered the body Saturday of a man who went missing Thursday evening after kayaking into a difficult section of the Crystal River north of Redstone.

Searchers returned to the area Saturday morning to look for the 41-year-old man, who has not been identified by authorities but lives in the Roaring Fork Valley and is a member of the Mountain Rescue Aspen volunteer group.

His body was located Saturday afternoon “in the general area he was last seen,” according to a news release sent Saturday from the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.

The man was kayaking about 8 p.m. Thursday with two others when he went into a section known as the “Meatgrinder.” Searchers walking the banks Friday found the man’s boat.

“There is limited information available regarding the recovery of the missing kayaker,” according to the Sheriff’s Office update Saturday. “The Pitkin County Coroner’s Office will release more information regarding this incident and the identity of the deceased kayaker at a later time, pending the completion of the Coroner’s death investigation and notification of the deceased’s family.”

Crews from the Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District and the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office walked the banks and used drones Friday to search downstream from the area where the kayaker disappeared, Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo said Friday afternoon.

That section of the river is “fast-paced, stout, and full of sieves and undercuts,” according to the nonprofit river group American Whitewater, and is known to have a large amount of wood that gets caught on the large rocks.

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