Authorities have recovered a man's body from the water in Newburyport, Massachusetts, nearly 24 hours after the man's girlfriend reported him missing.
Newburyport police and the U.S. Coast Guard said Sunday night that Kevin Mahoney's body had been located in the Merrimack River near the North End Boat Club around 5:20 p.m.
Mahoney's body was recovered after a coordinated search-and-rescue effort Sunday by the Coast Guard, Massachusetts Environmental Police, Massachusetts State Police, the Newburyport police and fire departments, and the Newburyport Harbormaster.
“I would like to thank everyone who assisted in the search efforts,” City Marshal Mark Murray said in a press release Sunday night. “At this time, I would like to send my condolences to Mr. Mahoney’s family, friends and loved ones.”
The official announcement followed a flurry of activity near the boat club earlier in the evening, where police and emergency crews were seen rushing down to the docks. Distraught family members were also seen gathering on the dock as word came in.
Mahoney, 33, of Newbury, went missing around 1:30 a.m. Saturday. His girlfriend reported to police around 7:30 p.m. Saturday that she had not seen Mahoney since early that morning, Newburyport police said.
Mahoney's girlfriend said he was near the intersection of Water and Federal streets in Newburyport late Friday night and then was last seen by a member of the North End Boat Club on Merrimac Street around 1:30 a.m. Saturday, walking outside the club building.
His cell phone and backpack were found aboard a boat owned by his family, which is docked at the club.
Crews searched around the boat club Saturday night, and club management was providing its security camera footage to Newburyport police for detectives to look at.
Witnesses told authorities Mahoney went down to the dock, prompting the search to focus in that area.
“Things happen on docks so that’s why we’re focusing here,” said Murray, who is responsible for law enforcement on the water in Newburyport.
Air and water assets were used in the search. Dive teams had been in and out of the water around the docks but were pulled out of the water at one point because of difficult conditions. The water was said to be murky and the currents unsafe. The search resumed Sunday, at which point crews made the discovery.
Family friends like Donna Bartlett were saddened to hear Mahoney had been found dead in the water.
"I just feel for them, being a mom," said Bartlett, who helped with the search Saturday night. "It's just really, really sad."
The Coast Guard said the cause and circumstances of Mahoney's death are not known at this time. An autopsy will be conducted.
Police say the investigation remains ongoing.