A Payson man drowned Sunday evening at the C.C. Cragin Reservoir.

Austin Smith, 32, was reportedly swimming near the boat ramp when he went under the water and never resurfaced, according to a press release from the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office.

The CCSO searched the immediate area using bystanders’ boats, but Smith’s body was not located.

Search operations were suspended at nightfall and they developed a plan for an underwater search the next morning.

On June 22, the Gila County Sheriff’s Office dive team and Tonto Rim Search and Rescue searched for Smith’s body.

A search and rescue dog trained to search for remains in the water was used to confirm the area to search.

Divers searched an area indicated by the search dog and located Smith’s body at approximately 11:30 a.m.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing.

The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office is grateful for the help of the Blue Ridge Fire District, Gila County Sheriff’s Office, Tonto Rim Search and Rescue, and the U.S. Forest Service in resolving this incident.

Contact the editor at abechman@payson.com

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Avoid obscene, hateful, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful.
Be Nice. No name-calling, racism, sexism or any sort of -ism degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article. Real names only!