The search is over for a missing boater

By Crystal Price - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The search for a missing boater ends in tragedy as authorities have recovered the body of 26-year old Jake Welch of Hackberry.

"We prayed that we'd find him today and God allowed us to find him," says Carolyn Welch, mother of Jake Welch. "I couldn't bear to not find him."

But while there is a peace in Carolyn Welch's heart today, there is also another piece of her that is gone forever.

"I'm going to miss him," says Carolyn. "He was my baby."

At approximately 12:20 p.m. on Wednesday authorities recovered Welch's body in the marshlands near Hackberry.

"He's basically been working around the marshlands his whole life," says Jaime Welch, brother of Jake Welch.

Jake's brother Jaime says working in the marshlands had always been a way of life for Jake.

"He was running crab pots to make extra money," says Jaime. "That's what he was doing for a living."

Now his family questions how this accident could have happened to someone that familiar with the marshlands.

"We've been in these marshes our whole lives and this is the first time he's been lost," says Jaime.

While the family waits for answers, authorities search for clues.

"The investigation will continues into his death," says Lt. Remy Broussard with Wildlife and Fisheries. "Right now it's being treated as a boating accident, but the investigation will continue."

Family and friends will continue remembering Jake until they get answers from authorities.

"He was a good person," says Jaime. "He was outgoing, loving, and he would do anything for you."

"He was so adventurous," says Carolyn. "I know my son called on the Lord out in this marsh. That's all he had to talk to and I know he's in the arms of the Lord, so now I have peace."

"If you have any information surrounding the death of Jake Welch, feel free to contact the Wildlife and Fisheries office at (337)491-2588.

You can also call any other law enforcement office in the area.

Copyright 2009 KPLC. All rights reserved.