Body of 16-Year-Old Kayaker Found 100 Miles Away from Where He Disappeared 2 'Agonizing' Months Ago

Jacob Stover went out kayaking along in Kentucky on Jan. 10 and never returned

Jacob Stover
Jacob Stover. Photo: Search for Jake Stover/Facebook

The body of a 16-year-old kayaker who disappeared on the Ohio River in January was found this week, more than 100 miles away from the spot where he disappeared.

Jacob Stover, of Prospect, Kentucky, was recovered on Monday afternoon near Newburgh, Indiana, two "agonizing" months after he went to kayak alone and never returned, his parents said on a Facebook page dedicated to finding him.

"We are overcome with the grief of losing our son," Shawn and Melissa Stover wrote. "While hope remained in our hearts that we might find Jake alive, as the days continued, our prayers and efforts turned to recovering our son. While the sadness is overwhelming, we are profoundly grateful for the support of our extended family and friends, our co-workers and the strangers we never had the chance to meet."

The grieving parents went on to thank their community for the support, as well as the "heroic volunteer efforts" over the last two months.

Shawn and Melissa Stover regularly shared updates to the Facebook page after Jake went out kayaking on the morning of Jan. 10 and never returned. His kayak was found days later.

"Jake left early Sunday morning. This is not unusual. When we woke we assumed he went to normal fishing pond at Creasy Mahan. When Shawn saw his location after 10 a.m. he called him and told him to get out of the river but did not realize how far down river he was," they wrote on Jan. 18. "He just saw that he had been staying close to shore. His phone stopped responding to location just before 11 a.m."

Jacob Stover
Louisville Metro Police Department

In the days after Jake's disappearance, authorities launched an exhaustive search, though hazardous conditions, including a strong current in the river and cold air and water temperatures, hindered their efforts, the Louisville Metro Police Department said.

Jake's body was positively identified by the Warrick County coroner, and an autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday, CBS affiliate WLKY reported.

A GoFundMe page raising money for search efforts raised nearly $30,000.

Meanwhile, students and staff at Jake's high school, North Oldham High School, were encouraged to wear red, his favorite color, on Wednesday and Thursday in his honor.

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