Coroner identifies deceased Crystal River kayaker as Chason P. Russell |

Coroner identifies deceased Crystal River kayaker as Chason P. Russell

The 41-year-old Roaring Fork Valley resident drowned after kayak overturned, coroner says

Chason P. Russell, a 41-year old Mountain Rescue Aspen volunteer, has been identified as the kayaker who died on the Crystal River last week, according to the Pitkin County Coroner’s Office.

Russell drowned after his kayak overturned and he was released from the vessel while navigating the difficult “Meatgrinder” section of the river just north of Redstone on Thursday, according to the news release Sunday morning.

He was kayaking with two others when he went missing; Russell was pulled under the water around 8 p.m. that night and not seen again, Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo said last week.

The Roaring Fork Valley man was missing for nearly two days before search crews recovered his body around 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the area he was last seen. Crews spent all day Friday and much of Saturday on the search, which was complicated by high water levels in that section of the river.

This is a developing story that will be updated.

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