November 28, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
26°F
test

UPDATE: Body tentatively ID’d as missing kayaker

The Erie County Sheriff’s Office has tentatively identified the body found in Lake Erie this morning.

Viola Francis

Viola Francis

Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth said investigators believe the body is 12-year-old Viola Francis, who went missing April 6.

 

Viola Francis and her father Jonathan Francis were last seen kayaking in the Sandusky Bay near Crystal Rock, Margaretta Township. Their kayaks were found empty and washed up in Ottawa County on April 7.

Lt. Justin Westmiller, spokesman for the U.S. Coast Guard, said a boat passing by notified the Coast Guard of the discovery at 11:15 a.m. The body was found between Huron and Vermilion, just off of the Vermilion River.

Sigsworth said the identification was made because the jewelry and clothing on the body matched those that Viola Francis was wearing when she went missing, and the body resembles Viola Francis.

The body was taken to the Lucas County Coroner, who will complete an autopsy, but Sigsworth said there’s no indication of foul play.

Jon Francis

Jon Francis

EARLIER STORY:

A body was found in Lake Erie at 11:15 a.m. this morning.

Lt. Justin Westmiller, spokesman for the U.S. Coast Guard, said a boat passing by notified the Coast Guard of the discovery. The body was found between Huron and Vermilion, just off of the Vermilion River.

Westmiller said the investigation is being handled by the Erie County Coroner and the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, and he could not provide more information.

Read Saturday’s Chronicle for more on this story.