Body of 14-year-old boy recovered from Hyrum Reservoir
Jun 26, 2023, 12:37 PM | Updated: Jun 27, 2023, 6:41 pm
HYRUM, Utah — A tragic ending to the search for a missing Ogden teen at Hyrum State Park.
The body of 14-year-old Connor Bowden was recovered by the state Utah Department of Public Safety Dive Team around 10:00 a.m. Monday, approximately 8 feet under the Hyrum Day Beach Dock.
“Obviously, they’re (family) devastated right now. They’re asking for privacy, it’s just a heart-wrenching tragedy,” said Lt. Mikelshan Bartschi, of the Cache County Sheriff’s Office.
A family member released a statement to KSL TV. It said:
Our sweet Conner has been reunited with our Heavenly Father. Our hearts are broken at this time. He was a very sweet loving child, loved to be outdoors, be with family friends; he loved his parents and his brothers and sister very much. They meant a lot to him. He loved fishing, camping and really anything to do outdoors. Any donations are greatly appreciated by the family. Donations can be made though Venmo @Jessica-Brockman-8 or America First Credit Union account # 9127093
After a day-long outing with his family, Bowden went missing on Sunday around 2:30 p.m. According to Bartschi, Bowden was asked to round up his siblings as the group was packing up to leave. He was last seen on the dock near his 11-year-old sibling, who had just jumped into the water.
“When the 11-year-old came back up, he wasn’t there,” Bartschi said.
The teen’s family called 911, and search and rescue teams then looked for the missing teen until 1:00 a.m. Monday using law enforcement, K-9s, sonar, drones, and a helicopter. When the research resumed at daylight, new K-9s changed behaviors on the boat dock.
“Which gave us some indication where we might want to start our search because there had been some movement of the dock overnight,” Bartschi explained.
Around 10 a.m., divers then located and recovered the body of Bowden approximately 8 feet under the dock – just feet from where he went missing and where his sibling had jumped in.
“I wish we had some sort of direct evidence to tell us what took place here. We don’t know if he was trying to swim under the dock to surprise a kid or what had taken place if he slipped if he fell,” Bartschi said.
Bartschi said Bowden was familiar with the area and the reservoir and had been fishing on the dock throughout the day. He noted that Bowden’s younger siblings had all been wearing life jackets while they were in the water, but when Bowden was recovered, he was not wearing one.
“Unfortunately, tragedy strikes, and while he was being responsible — he was with family, it sometimes only takes a flash, and they don’t know where they went,” Bartschi expressed.
Hyrum State Park Reservoir is currently at capacity due to the 2022-23 record snowfall and at the time of the search for Bowden, the surface water temperature was 61 degrees. The water is also murky, and visibility is limited.
“It is dark water, people have been known to get disoriented if they’re under that water for too long, and that may have contributed to it. We just don’t know,” Bartschi said.
Bowden’s body has now been turned over to the Utah Office of the Medical Examiner to determine his cause of death. In the meantime, Bartschi hopes the community will remember the teen as a good kid.
“He was a super reliable kid, this was so out of character. His family talked about him and said when they ask him to do something, it’s always getting done. He is just that great little kid,” he said.
An account has been opened in Connor Bowden’s name at America First Credit Union for funeral expenses. Donations can also be directly sent to a Venmo* account to @jessica-brockman-8.
*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.