Body of missing 18-year-old kayaker found in lake

A tough realization for Cary Pickerell that he’s soon going to be planning a funeral for his son, but there’s another realization that gives him some peace.

“I also feel the most important thing in life, is not how much money you make or how famous you are, but to make it to heaven. I’m confident Tyler was saved. People who were with him was confident he was saved. Tyler is in heaven,” said Pickerell Friday.

The 18 year old was kayaking with friends Wednesday when debris in the lake caused him to capsize. He never made it shore. Now a family is without a beloved son.

“My best memories all involve my sons. Whether it be football, hunting trips or whatever,” said Pickerell.

Pickerell’s body was spotted by a special robot 106 feet beneath Lake Cumberland…brought in by a dive team that worked through the night.

The challenge ever since this started is the state of the lake. It’s dirty with lots of debris. In fact, divers literally cannot see anything when they get to the bottom.

The first attempt to bring Pickerell to the surface failed and a second unit was called. It’s a detailed and dangerous process…that hundreds of Southwestern students have watched for hours.

“We’re grateful all the people….here as late as 1 in the morning. Hundreds came and went yesterday,” said Pickerell.

Crews were able to pull Pickerell's body from the lake around 7 p.m. Friday. Officials say it appears he drowned but an autopsy will be conducted in Frankfort to determine exactly how he died.


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