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Reservoir remains ID’d as kayaker drowned in Wyoming in 1995

UPDATED: Fri., Sept. 17, 2021

Associated Press

JACKSON, Wyo. — Human remains found in a reservoir on the Wyoming-Idaho state line have been identified as a kayaker who drowned in a river in Wyoming in 1995, investigators said.

Kyle Martin, 24, was kayaking on the Hoback River when a companion lost his paddle. Martin went ahead but was never seen alive again.

Relatives of Martin and sheriff’s officials briefly saw Martin’s body after a helicopter dislodged his kayak from a snag in the river a couple days later, Teton County sheriff’s deputy Dave Hodges told the Jackson Hole News & Guide.

“He separates and he’s on the surface, but I didn’t expect him to then submerge almost as quickly as he emerged,” Hodges recalled.

Last winter, Hodges saw an entry in Forensics Magazine about human remains found in Palisades Reservoir, downstream from the Hoback River.

A DNA sample from Martin’s mother confirmed they were her son’s remains. Hodges called Martin’s brother with the news Sept. 10.

“It was an incredible moment to call family after 26 years and say that your son and your brother is finally coming home,” Hodges said. “We both had a moment of tears. It was a sense of closure for a family that’s been waiting so long to have their son and their brother home.”

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