Divers recover body of man who went missing Tuesday in Lake Weir

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LAKE WEIR — The body of the man who went missing on Tuesday while swimming in Lake Weir was recovered Thursday morning.

The Marion County Sheriff's Office Underwater Recovery Team, along with the agency helicopter unit and Marion County Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Bart Walker, recovered the body about 7:15 a.m. about a half mile from shore.

Dive team officials said they resumed their search at 6 a.m. Thursday with two divers in the water and two sonar-equipped boats. The water they were searching was about 20 feet deep, with visibility of 2-3 feet.

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Later Thursday, officials released the man's name to the media. They said Joseph Evan Cruz, 32, from Citrus Springs, had been boating with three children on Tuesday when he and two of the children went to swim. One child returned to retrieve the boat, which was drifting, and upon return Cruz had gone missing.

This was the scene on the shore of Lake Weir on Thursday after divers recovered the body of a man who went missing Tuesday.
This was the scene on the shore of Lake Weir on Thursday after divers recovered the body of a man who went missing Tuesday.

An immediate search began Tuesday and continued Wednesday. On Wednesday, hampered by rough conditions due to wind, divers searched for 15 hours, according to the sheriff's office. Five sonar-equipped boats and four divers were in water 10-20 feet deep.

The search covered 700 acres. The sheriff's office said coordinates from the 911 distress call from the boat were used, but that information couldn't provide an exact location.

This article originally appeared on Ocala Star-Banner: Body of man missing in Lake Weir, south of Ocala, Florida recovered