Dec 10, 2015 4:13 PM
CONCORD - On Wednesday, 68-year-old John Stapler went out on Turkey Pond in Concord with his kayak.
His family didn’t hear from him for hours and started to worry. Stapler's family soon learned that he would never come back.
Police and N.H. Fish and Game officials began searching for Stapler Wednesday afternoon - a search that would last two days.
“The kayak was found partially submerged," Sgt. Jeremy Hawkes of New Hampshire Fish and Game said. "They found that first and then set up buoys in that area as location to go off of.”
On Thursday morning, Stapler was found just 14 feet from his kayak and about 10 feet underwater.
“They're distraught obviously. I can’t imagine something like that happening to my family,” Hawkes said.
Stapler's Facebook page was filled with photos of himself and his family on Turkey Pond. It appeared he knew the pond and the area very well.
Stapler's family has asked for privacy during this time, but one neighbor told NH1 News about living next door to Stapler for 26 years.
“We still have their little refrigerator post-it [that says] 'Welcome to the neighborhood,' ” said David Hagner of Stapler and his wife.
Hagner described his neighbor as a warm, friendly father, a ROTC man, a little league coach, and a grandpa.
“I’m in shock. I mean he wasn't the type of person to take risks,” Hagner said.
Fish and Game said one vital piece of equipment was missing from Stapler’s body.
“A personal flotation device, a life vest," Hawkes said. "We’d want you to wear it but one is required to be in the boat by law.”
The medical examiner is working to find Stapler’s exact cause of death.
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