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Body found in search for missing ranger around Horsetooth Reservoir

Identified Friday afternoon as Brendan Unitt, 27
Larimer County Department of Natural Resources ranger boat
Horsetooth Reservoir ranked as No. 3 best lake in the U.S. by Foursquare
Posted at 6:36 AM, Aug 21, 2020

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. — Authorities say they pulled a missing ranger's body from Horsetooth Reservoir around 3:30 a.m. on Friday.

Authorities, including the Poudre Fire Authority (PFA), the Larimer County Sheriff's Office and Larimer County rangers, started searching for the Larimer County Department of Natural Resources ranger Thursday around 9:20 p.m. and continued overnight. They used drones with infrared technology, while examining both the water and land around the reservoir.

The sheriff's office said the ranger disappeared after "a strong wind event" at the reservoir. The ranger's empty boat was located on the water.

The ranger's body was recovered from the water around 3:30 a.m., the sheriff's office said.

The Larimer County Coroner’s Office identified the ranger as Brendan Unitt, 27, of La Salle. The coroner’s office determined his cause of death was asphyxiation due to drowning and the manner of his death was an accident.

Glen Werth, the owner of the Inlet Bay Marina, said that he and his staff see the rangers nearly every day as they gas up for work, and said they are like family.

He said he and his staff shed tears this morning when they learned the news.

“It is a very sad day,” Werth said.

Werth called Unitt polite, hard-working and an all-around good person who “represented the county very well.”

It's not clear if the ranger disappeared anytime around the boat parade on the lake Thursday afternoon, which had ended before sundown.

This is a developing story. Stay with Denver7 for updates.