Watervliet Township – Authorities have confirmed that a body found in a southwestern Michigan river is that of a kayaker who disappeared in February.

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office says a preliminary report following Thursday’s autopsy indicates 35-year-old Cory Wright of Niles accidentally drowned. His body was found Tuesday in Watervliet Township in the Paw Paw River.

Joe Wright told the Herald-Palladium that family members “want to thank all the people that never gave up and consistently searched” for his son.

The sheriff’s office has said three people were kayaking on the Paw Paw River on Feb. 27 when two kayaks struck a log. Wright vanished as area waterways were running high due to heavy rain and melting snow that caused flooding in Michigan, Indiana and other Midwest states.

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