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Body of teenager who went missing on Mother’s Day weekend recovered in river

The body of a teenager who was reported missing during Mother’s Day weekend was recovered in a South Valley river Wednesday night, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office reported.

At around 7 p.m., the Sheriff’s Swiftwater Dive Rescue Team recovered the body of the 16-year-old from Strathmore out of the Tule River.

The victim was reported missing May 12 and was last seen in the area between Springville and Camp Nelson above Coffee Camp in a location commonly known as the Stairs.

His body was recovered downstream about half a mile. The sheriff’s office did not release his identity.

Search efforts had been challenging due to high water flows, deputies said.

Lt. Kevin Kemmerling of the sheriff’s office notified the boy’s family in person Wednesday night.

“We searched by air and analyzed water flows daily since the boy went missing,” Kemmerling said of the department’s search and recovery operation. “We purposefully picked today as the best opportunity for a successful recovery mission and all the stars aligned.

“With some great work by our personnel, the reduced flow, and assistance of the K-9s, we were able to bring closure to the teen’s family.”

Sheriff Mike Boudreaux expressed sympathy for the family and appreciation for his personnel.

“My heart breaks for this family,” he said. “I am extremely proud of the men and women of the Sheriff’s Swiftwater Dive Rescue Team. They are the best in the state and continually risk their lives to bring closure to families time and time again.”

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