Body of missing Lake Erie Kayaker found in Western New York

Evan Zeller disappeared on Lake Erie in Sheffield Lake Nov. 5 with rough water conditions
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 4:54 PM EST
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SHEFFIELD LAKE, Ohio (WOIO) - Officials on Friday confirmed the body of the Lake Erie kayaker that went missing late last year was found in New York State.

The Ohio Attorney General identified the Lake Erie kayaker missing since Nov. 5 as 30-year-old Evan Zeller of Sheffield Lake.

New York officials confirmed that Zeller’s body found was discovered near the shore in the town of Dunkirk in Chautauqua County, New York on Jan. 19. Zeller was officially identified on Jan. 20.

The discovery comes after his kayak was found in Canada in early December.

Zeller’s kayak capsized on Lake Erie near Sheffield Lake, two other kayakers with him were able to make it back to shore through the treacherous water, but Zeller was pushed out by the current.

Zeller’s body was ultimately found was approximately 170 miles from Sheffield Lake in a town about an hour away from Buffalo.

Rescuers searched the water and by air for several days trying to find Zeller back in November. They even used technology to try and locate his cell phone, the same phone he used to call for help when he fell in the water.

The Sheffield Lake Fire Department (SLFD), the Lorain County Water Rescue Team (LCWRT), the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and ALFD responded to the situation.

Working from 2 p.m. until dusk, the surface-level resources were removed from the water due to lake conditions and darkness, leaving air support to search.

Zellar is survived by his wife and 5-year-old daughter, as well as other loved ones.

This is a developing story. Return to 19 News for updates.