The body of 21-year-old Everette Jackson was found on Sunday after the young student fell out of a raft into the Idaho River earlier this month.
Officials from the Gem County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) said a volunteer located Jackson two miles downstream from where he was last seen on the Payette River on June 19, according to KTVB.
Jackson, who played college basketball at Louisiana State University’s Eunice campus, was tubing with his girlfriend and three of her friends when the fatal incident occurred on June 11. Reports say Jackson and his girlfriend missed their exit while rafting and tried to paddle back to the dock, but the currents were too strong.
According to The Atlanta Black Star, Jackson’s girlfriend, Gracie Kolka, was able to grab onto a tree branch and hold on as the current swept the raft away, but Jackson fell out while struggling to manage the tube. Authorities say he wasn’t wearing a life jacket when he fell into the water.
That weekend, water levels in the area were reportedly dangerous due to heavy rain. The river was “a little over 8 feet deep and flowed at 10,200 cubic feet per second” when the incident occurred, The Atlanta Black Star noted.
Jackson’s family flew down to Idaho from Louisiana to help out with the grueling week-long search for their loved one. Together, they conducted a thorough search of the area from the Gem County Sports Complex all the way to New Plymouth. The GCSO used several boats and helicopters. They also received aid from emergency responders and other volunteers.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this very difficult time,” Gem County Sheriff Donnie Wunder said in a statement. “We are grateful to all of the emergency responders and volunteers who made this recovery possible.”