Searchers Recover Body from Buckingham Lake in Loveland

October 3, 2018

Loveland Fire Rescue Authority special operations divers prepare to look under water in an area where sonar detected an object on Tuesday. The team was searching for a missing kayaker in Buckingham Lake in west Loveland. Shorty afterward, divers pulled up a body from the lake.

Searchers on Tuesday recovered a body from the Loveland reservoir where a kayaker went missing on Sunday evening. The man’s identity and official cause of death will be released when available from the Larimer County Coroner’s Office.

The kayaker was a 57-year-old man from Washington visiting a resident on Buckingham Lake. That resident, Natasha Puckett, said the man had been in Colorado to reconnect with three of his daughters in the Denver area.

“He was a really good man,” she told the Reporter-Herald on Tuesday afternoon. “He really wanted to rekindle with his daughters.”

Puckett said her friend was staying at her home on Buckingham Lake, but both had been away from the house, in different locations, on Sunday. Both intended to head back to the house that evening, but her friend arrived at her house before her.

When Puckett got home, her friend was not at the house. When she looked out at the water, she saw an upside-down kayak.

“I took the paddleboat out to the kayak,” Puckett recalled. “I found his sweatshirt floating in the water next to it.”

She added that a shoe was still in the kayak, and that’s when she decided to call 911.

Since Sunday night, Puckett has spent her time on the balcony of her home, watching recovery efforts through binoculars. She said she even waded in the water last night for nearly two hours.

“I couldn’t stand it,” she said, referring to the fact that her friend was missing. “I’m glad they found they found him.”

Puckett said the Loveland Police Department took her friend’s cellphone as part of the investigation, meaning she couldn’t notify her friend’s contacts about what was going on in Loveland. She said she didn’t have any contact information for the kayaker’s family.

The Reporter-Herald is not releasing the man’s name until the coroner can notify next of kin.

According to Loveland Police Public Information Officer Jan Burreson, the man’s body was found after a sonar picked up a signal in approximately 10 feet of water in the eastern portion of the lake. Divers entered the water and located the body at 1:20 p.m. Crews brought the body out of the water at 1:40 p.m.; county coroners arrived on scene minutes later to conduct a preliminary investigation.

Burreson said the body matched what the description of who they sought, and further information would be available upon completion of an autopsy Wednesday morning. Loveland Police will continue to investigate the kayaker’s death in the event of any suspicious evidence.

Hans Peter: 970-635-3630, hpeter@prairiemountainmedia.com .

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