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WILLARD BAY STATE PARK, Utah, July 11, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — Crews have recovered the body of a 46-year-old man who went missing while paddle boarding at Willard Bay.
The deceased, identified as Brandon Larsen, from Perry, was recovered at approximately 8 a.m. Wednesday, the Utah Department of Natural Resources said in a news release.
Larsen first arrived at Willard Bay State Park on Sunday evening, the news release said.
“Later that night park staff discovered some items on the beach that seemed to have been forgotten by a visitor,” the news release said. “These included a chair, sandals, beach towel, and car keys. These items were taken to lost and found.”
Park rangers began investigating further on Tuesday after noticing Larsen’s vehicle had not moved from its original spot. After determining that the keys discovered along the beach belonged to the vehicle, rangers ran the vehicle information and contacted the family.
Both land and water search efforts for Larsen began Tuesday afternoon.
“During that time, responders located his cellphone inside a dry-bag out in the water,” the news release said.
Larsen was not wearing a life jacket, officials added.
Officials are investigating the incident as an apparent drowning at this time.
Investigators have not located the paddle board that Larsen is believed to have brought to Willard Bay and are asking for the public’s help.
The board is a Dave Scadden Paddlesports inflatable, Grand Slam model. It is lime green with a white border.
If anyone found a paddle board or may have seen Larsen on the board at Willard Bay Sunday, please contact Utah State Parks. This paddle board, along with any information about Larsen’s activities Sunday, is important to the investigation, officials said.
Family members issued a statement on Facebook:
“Our family would like to thank the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Department, the Box Elder County Search and Rescue, Willard PD, Ranger Morgan, Detective Yates and all the family and friends that came out to search for Brandon.
“Brandon was a father, brother, son, uncle, Veteran and teacher and the loss of him from our lives is indescribable.
“Brandon’s death was a tragic accident and we would like privacy to mourn the loss of him at this time.
“The Larsen and Lish families”
Utah State Parks would also like to extend its condolences to Larsen’s friends and family, the news release said, and remind everyone to always wear a life jacket when out on the water.
Larsen was a teacher with the Weber School District.