Searchers find body of missing kayaker, 44, near Bullfrog Creek

Posted at 12:18 PM, Oct 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-08 12:18:16-04

The search is over for a missing kayaker who was last seen Saturday.

The body of Jeffrey Mark Fancher, 44, of Lithia was found about 9:15 a.m. Sunday in Tampa Bay between Bullfrog Creek and Kracker Road in Gibsonton, a state fish and wildlife commission official said.

The incident is being investigated as a fatal boating accident, said Officer James Boogaerts, spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

"There is no indication of anything suspicious" at this time, Boogaerts said.


An unidentified good Samaritan reported finding an unoccupied kayak floating in Tampa Bay near Apollo Beach about 12:45 p.m. Saturday, a statement issued by Boogaerts said.


The FWC, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, and the U.S. Coast Guard took part in the search that continued overnight and into Sunday morning.


Fancher is believed to have launched the kayak on Bullfrog Creek off U.S. 41 in Gibsonton Saturday morning, Boogaerts said.


Fancher's body was recovered near the shoreline not far from Bullfrog Creek.

Fancher's next of kin has been notified.


The investigation continues.