The body of a missing kayaker has been recovered more than a week after the person had gone missing. The body of 40-year-old Kevin Conley was found in Lake Ronkonkoma around noon today. Conley, of Sound Beach, was identified by his father.
Conley’s father said that his son had been diagnosed with a degenerative brain disease called Huntington’s disease. Huntington’s disease is incurable and affects motor skills. Conley’s father also stated that his son could not swim well.
Conley first went missing on August 14. A witness said he saw Conley yelling for help while in his kayak on Lake Ronkonkoma off of Lake Shore Drive. The witness reported the incident to police around 3:30 p.m. Several good samaritans tried to help the man but soon lost sight of him.
Officials stated that his life vest came off as he was struggling in the water. He soon went under and was not seen again.
A search began the same day, however was suspended for several hours due to darkness. Officials stated that they resumed their search the following day and continued until they found the body today.
Suffolk County Marine Bureau, Emergency Service Section, Aviation Section and Parks Police all helped conduct the search, along with several local fire departments.
Conley’s empty kayak was found afterwards. The kayak had a hole in it, presumably the cause of the sinking.
Conley’s body was found 50 feet underwater, in what officials called a “zero visibility” area.
[Source: Suffolk County Police]