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Body of pastor's son found in Oregon lake over a week after kayak accident

Body of pastor's son found in Oregon lake over a week after kayak accident

Jared (R) and Rowan (L) Boria | Facebook/Jared Boria

The body of a New Hampshire pastor’s son was found after days of searching Diamond Lake in Oregon following a tragic kayaking accident. 

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office confirmed the death of 37-year-old Jared Boria, who went missing while on a late-night kayaking ride during a camping trip nearly two weeks ago. Boria is the son of Bruce Boria, the senior pastor at Bethany Church in Greenland, New Hampshire.

According to the sheriff’s office, Boria’s body was located on Thursday around 11:20 a.m. when dispatchers received a report that a deceased male was located in the lake. Marine deputies and the Douglas County Medical Examiner responded to the scene. 

Boria was presumed to have drowned after he launched his kayak from a campsite at Diamond Lake on June 30 at around 10:20 p.m. and police were called about an hour later to report a distressed male yelling for help from inside the lake. Boria’s wife, Rowan, later reported her husband as missing. 

"The Sheriff's Office extends its deepest condolences to the family of Jared,” Sgt. Brad O'Dell said in a statement. "There were numerous man hours and resources spent searching for Jared so his family and friends could have some answers. Our hearts go out to them."

According to the sheriff’s office, the search for Boria’s body was conducted in the lake and various surrounding areas by multiple entities and dive teams. 

Initial search efforts proved unsuccessful with one of the primary difficulties being that no one saw where Boria was on the lake when he was calling for help. 

"Searches usually begin at the point where the individual was last seen,” O’Dell said. “In this case, it was too dark and witnesses could only hear requests for help, therefore we are making assumptions as to where he may have became distressed.”

In a video posted last Friday from his son’s house in Portland, Bruce Boria told followers on the Bethany Church Facebook page that he received a call Thursday informing the family that his son’s body had been discovered.

Bruce Boria thanked the eight to nine different organizations that participated in the search. 

“That was pretty tough news to take,” Boria admitted. “But at the same time, it is also going to bring some closure.”

Boria said that he has had some “really good conversations” with his daughter-in-law in the days they waited for the closure of Jared Boria’s body to be found. 

“There was a level of peace just knowing that he has been found and now we are just praying for this healing to begin,” the pastor said. 

According to the pastor, Rowan Boria had hoped that maybe her husband would be found and this would turn out to be “just a terrible nightmare.”

“There is just this sense of him languishing there in this lake and they can’t find his body, wanting some closure,” he said. “So, what do you think about? How do you overcome those very stark images? Because that is reality as well, isn’t it?”

He turned to a passage from 1 Corinthians 15, where the Apostle Paul is speaking about the resurrection.  

“In the midst of that resurrection, he says someone may ask, ‘How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?'” Boria recited, explaining that Paul describes the earthly body as “perishable” and the heavenly body as “imperishable.” 

“It is sown in dishonor. It is raised in glory, it is sown in weakness. Yet, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual one.”

When he thinks about his son’s body lying in that lake for days, he is forced to think of the Corinthians passage. 

“Because that is not the end for [Jared],” Boria said. “He shed that earthly tent. He is not in the lake. It says in a twinkling of an eye, he has changed, he has transformed. That’s a promise that the Apostle Paul gives to us.”

The pastor stressed that his family’s experience in the last couple of weeks is not “unique.” 

“I picked up a book called Heaven by Randy Alcorn. In that, he speaks of this terminal disease that we all are suffering from. He says, as human beings we all have a terminal disease called mortality,” he said. “The current death rate is 100%, and unless Christ returns, we are all going to die.”

“[Alcorn] says we don’t like to think about death. Yet, he says, listen to this, worldwide, three people die every second, 180 people die every minute and nearly 11,000 people die every hour. When I hear statistics like that, even though my heart gets heavy, I recognize that I am not the only one experiencing this. So, it makes me reflect on what am I supposed to glean from this experience, other than letting my heart grieve, which by the way, I am doing.”

A GoFundMe online fundraising account has raised over $26,000 to help support Rowan Boria as of Monday afternoon. 

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