The body of Clovis High School golfer Tyler Fontenot was found Monday afternoon.
By Sharna Johnson and Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writers
The body of 17-year-old Clovis High School student Tyler Fontenot was recovered from a Texas lake around 3 p.m. (CDT) Monday. The body of his uncle, Joe Haseloff of Farwell, was found two hours later, according to lake officials.
Lake Brownwood patrolman Bob Pacatte said the two were not wearing life vests, but life vests were found on their boat.
Several family members who were waiting at the scene for word were notified of the discoveries, Pacatte said.
Lake Brownwood, a 7,300-surface-acre reservoir, is located approximately 75 miles southeast of Abilene, Texas.
The shoreline around the lake is approximately 97 miles, Pacatte said.
A helicopter search crew spotted Fontenot’s body from the air and boat teams quickly responded to the area and were able to recover the body, Pacatte said.
Searchers found Haseloff’s body in the same area, Pacatte said.
Joe’s brother, Mark Haseloff, said the bodies will be taken to Austin for an autopsy.
He said family members, including Tyler’s mother and father, were at the lake Monday night.
Pacatte said a Texas Parks and Wildlife investigator found no signs of an accident or any indication as to why they left the boat. Mark Haseloff said he was told there were no signs of foul play.
Mark Haseloff, a Dallas resident, said investigators suspect one of the victims may have fallen overboard and the other jumped in to save him.
The two arrived at the lake Saturday for a weekend fishing trip. Family members became concerned and contacted authorities when they didn’t hear from them Saturday night or Sunday.
Mark Haseloff said his 49-year-old brother owns land there and is familiar with the area.
He said the two weren’t planning to fish Saturday since Tyler had a fishing license for Sunday only. He said the two were probably just taking a quick boat ride.
Pacatte said a search of the lake that began Sunday for the two was reclassified as a recovery mission Monday morning after more than a day passed with no sign of the pair.
The boat they were in was discovered around 11 a.m. (CDT) Sunday on the shore at the opposite end of the lake from where Fontenot’s body was located.
Pacatte said officials believe the boat was abandoned around sunset Saturday.
Mark Haseloff said earlier in the day that he and several family members had gathered at the lake and were waiting for news from searchers.
Monday they were given an area to wait in and were being cared for by Red Cross volunteers, he said.
“It is very, very hard really. Nobody knows (what happened). We’re trying to piece everything together and figure it out,” he said.
Mark Haseloff said the last time the two made contact with a family member was around 4:30 p.m. Saturday when Joe Haseloff contacted his wife, Laurie, to tell her they had arrived at the lake.
The lack of communication was what alarmed family members, because Joe Haseloff and Fontenot are good about checking in with family and letting people know where they are, Mark Haseloff said.
Brownwood County Sheriff’s Department officials said Monday morning divers and search teams were combing the lake.
When the truck and boat the two were using were located Sunday morning, officials said dive and boat teams were called in to search the lake.
CHS golf Coach Cal Fullerton said he learned Sunday that Tyler Fontenot had gone missing when he spoke with the youth’s grandmother who was concerned because she couldn’t reach him.
Fullerton said when he called the youth’s cell phone, a Brownwood County deputy answered and advised him to contact family members.
Fontenot, a Clovis High School senior and member of the golf team, frequently visited Lake Brownwood with his uncle.
Before he left Clovis last week, Fullerton said the youth had obtained a one-day fishing license for the trip.