Missing kayaker found dead in Bartholomew County river

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BARTHOLOMEW COUNTY, Ind.-- A missing kayaker was found dead Friday not far from where his kayak was found earlier in the day.

The DNR said Keygan Matlock's body was found about 100 yards away from his kayak, located between Tannehill Bridge and Lowell Bridge on the Driftwood River.

Keygan Matlock

The 26-year-old man last had communication with friends and family Wednesday at approximately 10:30 a.m. During these conversations, Matlock spoke of going kayaking near Columbus. Officials said Friday's discovery confirmed that Matlock was indeed kayaking on the river.

Authorities were contacted early Thursday when he failed to come home. His kayak was missing.

Just before 7:45 p.m. on Thursday, authorities suspended the search for Matlock due to low-light conditions. The search resumed at 8 a.m. Friday and continued until about 4:00 p.m. when the body was found.

Crews had been using drones and helicopters to search for him because the water was too high to use boats.

On Friday, they were able to use an airboat. Officials say the water had receded about a foot and a half in the spot where he was found.

DNR Conservation Officer Angela Goldman warned other people not to venture into dangerous waters.

"We just can’t say it enough. These flood waters are not to be played in, they’re not to be taken lightly, they’re not to be driven through," she said. "If you see the high water, please please stay out of it, turn your vehicle around and certainly don’t try to recreate on this."

She said even the most experienced people can find themselves in trouble.

"It doesn’t matter your experience level, water is one of the most unforgiving natural resources we have and it will take its toll," said Goldman. "It’s not unlawful to be on the water, but it’s certainly unsafe, so I’m just going to continue with this message: just please don’t get on these flood waters. It is not a safe place to recreate."

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