Two bodies found in Lake Erie (UPDATED)

The 12-year-old and her father hadn't been seen since the first week of April.
Cary Ashby
Apr 26, 2013


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.



For all who's your proof. Very sad ending to a tragic's to a little closure for the family. Amen.


Thank you wasp71.
I knew something wasn't right and I know when you hit water that cold it's instant shock.
I'm sure the family who knows and love them did too.
Knowing that was not something in the character of this father.
He may have made some bad choices for all you stone throwers but I bet he died trying to save his daughter the love of his life.
Many prayers for their family and friends.

Yall Make Me Sick

Praying for all familes involved!


Thoughts and Prayers for the family.


My thoghts and prayers are with the family also


Oh Dear Lord!
God Bless their souls and may they walk with Jesus forever.

Sitting In The ...

My heart goes out to the Francis family....


RIP, Prayers of comfort for the family


I can only imagine how difficult this has been for all involved. Thoughts and Prayers

finally free

My thoughts and prayers go out go the families and may Viola and Jon rest in peace <\3


My thoughts and prayers to the families of Viola and Jon.


This is so sad :(....Praying for there family and may they rest in peace!!!!


This is why people who judge other people should keep their cruel comments to their self. Sad so sad. Yes people make mistakes and sometimes dont think before they do them,but someday you cruel people will get caught up in something by choices you make and it may end like this for you too and you know who you r . Get a life and judge yourself look in the mirror. Praying for their family.


mistakes and bad judgement are two very different things.. It's called COMMON SENSE... don't go in when the water is that cold with NO life jackets. ... Smart 30 year old parents should know better. Another tragedy that was preventable.

Stop with the karma thing .. maybe you shouldn't be wishing bad things on people for stating opinions.

maverick12's picture

So you pointing out the obvious brings solace to the family?
The comments I see are attempts to comfort a family that is grieving.
Why deny them this humanity?
Does it make you feel better knowing you would never make this mistake?

My heart goes out to the was a tragic mistake.

Cary Ashby

Sorry to hear about this tragedy. Personally (and that's what this comment is), I can't imagine taking my daughter out kayaking without wearing a vest. Regardless, my thoughts and prayers go out to their families and loved ones.


It's too late to judge poor decisions. What's done is done. My heart literally hurts for this family. Personally I take comfort in knowing they were together and that The Lord guided them to be found the same day. God bless the families.

OSU 2008

So sad. At least the family will now have closure.