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Thursday, June 23, 2022

Marion County Sheriff’s Office recovers body of missing boater in Lake Weir  

(Update from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office: The deceased man has been identified as Joseph Evan Cruz, 32, from Citrus Springs.)

The body of the man who went missing in Lake Weir on Tuesday was recovered by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday morning.

The MCSO Underwater Recovery Team, along with the Aviation Unit, returned to Lake Weir and recovered the missing man’s body at around 7:15 a.m. He was already deceased by the time that his body was discovered and preliminary signs indicate that he drowned.

MCSO had received a call for service on Tuesday, at around 2:30 p.m., which stated that a boat was drifting on Lake Weir with one boater who was missing.

A total of three juveniles and one adult male were on the boat in the middle of the lake when two of the children and the man went for a swim. As the boat drifted away, one of the children retrieved the watercraft to pick up the other child while the man remained in the water.

Upon returning to the swimming area, the man was missing.

Marion County Sheriffs Office searching for missing boater on Lake Weir
The MCSO Aviation Unit, Marine Unit, and Underwater Recovery Team were involved in the search for the missing boater on Lake Weir (Photo courtesy of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office)

An immediate search was launched by MCSO’s Aviation Unit, Marine Unit, and Underwater Recovery Team. The Lake County Sheriff’s Office’s Marine Unit and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission also assisted with the search efforts.

MCSO Major Crimes detectives are continuing to investigate the drowning.