Two bodies found in Lake Erie (UPDATED)

Cary Ashby • Apr 28, 2013 at 10:58 AM

The body of a 12-year-old missing kayaker was recovered from Lake Erie this afternoon. Her father's body was found a few hours later.

Viola Francis, and her father, Jonathan Francis, 30, hadn’t been seen since the first week of April, when they launched their kayaks from Crystal Rock and headed toward the Edison Bridge. Crews from U.S. Coast Guard Marblehead were dispatched just after 11 a.m. after someone reported seeing a body about 8 1/2 miles north of the Vermilion River, Erie County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Jared Oliver confirmed with the Reflector.

After the girl’s body was recovered, family members tentatively identified her based on descriptions of the clothing and jewelry she was wearing on the day of her disappearance, according to Sheriff Paul Sigsworth. The discovery of the girl’s body had re-ignited the search for her father, using crews from the Coast Guard, Border Patrol and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

About 2:30 p.m. today, authorities found a second body off the Cedar Point break wall, a body which "washed up on the rocks," Oliver told the Reflector. Authorities were able to identify the body as Jonathan Francis' through "a unique tattoo," Oliver added.

Read the full story in Saturday's Norwalk Reflector.

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