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Authorities recover body of 17-year-old who fell from canoe on White River

LATEST: The body of 17-year-old Kevin Rodriguez was recovered from the White River by Indiana Conservation Officers at 2:45 p.m. Wednesday near the location where he was last seen. Authorities are awaiting autopsy results to determine the exact cause of death.


INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The search will resume Thursday for a teenager who disappeared Tuesday night in the White River after the canoe he and his roommate were in went over a dam.

Indiana conservation officers said Wednesday that they have joined the search for Kevin Rodriguez, 17, who went missing near the Emrichsville Dam; that’s south of the 16th Street bridge. Authorities said Wednesday that Rodriguez is not 16 years old, as they’d first reported.

Conservation officers and Indianapolis Fire Department on Wednesday searched upstream and downstream of the area he was last spotted. Searches were done by foot on share, by boat on the water, and by drone from the air. Search operations were suspended Wednesday evening and will resume Thursday morning.

Crews were called around 7:25 p.m. Tuesday to the White River between the 10th Street and 16th Street bridges. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said Carlos Ramirez, 45, and Rodriguez were at the river working on a canoe when they were swept over the dam, causing the canoe to capsize. Neither wore a life jacket.

Rita Reith, battalion chief with the Indianapolis Fire Department, said Tuesday that Rodriguez and Ramirez — who were roommates — were in a silver canoe with their dog heading toward the dam. As they realized they were going to go over the dam, Ramirez yelled to jump. As the two roommates did, the canoe overturned, sending them all into the water.

Ramirez got to the west bank of the river and got out of the water. He was suffering from signs of hypothermia and appeared to have taken in a larger amount of water. He was located at 7:42 p.m. Tuesday and taken to Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Hospital. Reith said he was in good condition.

Witnesses helped Ramirez to shore, the DNR said. Rodriguez was last seen by witnesses floating down the river.

The dog swam to the east bank and was unharmed, Reith said.