Kayaker Finds Woodward’s Body

By on July 12, 2017

Oliver Woodward

JACKSON HOLE, WY – The search for 21-year-old Oliver Woodward ended this morning when a kayaker discovered his body in the Snake River, just downstream of Flying Saddle Resort near Alpine.

The kayaker called the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department at approximately 10 a.m. Wednesday, Teton County Sheriff Lt. Matt Carr said. Star Valley Search and Rescue recovered the body and handed it over to the Lincoln County coroner. Dental records confirmed Woodward’s identity.

“I’m thankful that [the kayaker] called it in, and was able to stay with it until the sheriff’s deputies arrived,” Carr said.

Teton and Lincoln County Search and Rescue teams have been searching for Woodward since he was reported missing on July 4 after being thrown from his raft in King’s Rapid.

“It’s obviously been a very long search,” Carr said. “It involved a lot of rescuers and a lot of resources.” Carr says Search and rescue teams from both counties have done “some level of searching” every day since the accident, from sonar to canines to swift water.

“We’ve been hitting it with tons and tons of search and rescue,” Carr said. Lincoln County has been involved from the beginning because it offered strong swift water resources, and because officials suspected the body might turn up in Lincoln County.

Lincoln County Sheriff Captain Brian Andrews says the coroner’s office is still determining the cause of death, but it is likely accidental drowning.

Woodward was a Georgia resident attending the University of Georgia. He was living in Jackson Hole for the summer working a landscaping job, according to WXIA-TV in Atlanta, Georgia. Five of his fraternity brothers traveled to Jackson Hole to assist with the search, the station reported.

He is the second person to die on the Snake River in as many weeks. A 48-year-old Pocatello, Idaho resident was killed Saturday morning after being thrown from his raft in Three Oar Deal.

Woodward’s immediate family, who was in town assisting with the search, has been notified.

“We’re glad to at least be able to offer a little closure for the family,” Carr said.

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