Body recovered from flooded area in Travis County

The body was discovered in a retention pond near State Highway 130 and FM 812 Sunday morning. STAR Flight was conducting aerial searches when they spotted it around 11:40 a.m.

Authorities have been searching for victims since Thursday night’s storms flooded roads in Southeast Travis County. 

“A caller called on the night of the flood to 911 and said that they saw a person holding onto a pole. We believe that was a light pole off of 812 and that person was swept away according to the caller. Then close to about the same time, ESD firefighters said that they saw a pickup truck also being swept away and they believe that one person, maybe more, were in that truck,” said Lisa Block, spokesperson for Travis County Emergency Services and the Travis County Sheriff’s Office.

Three days later, while searching by helicopter, STAR Flight crews hit on something.

“STAR Flight was doing aerial searches of the retention ponds here at FM 812 and SH 130 and they located a body on the north side of the south retention pond,” said Block. 

Although authorities had previously searched the area, they found no evidence until Sunday morning.

“A lot of times, bodies when they first go into the water, you know, they're heavier. They kind of sink to the bottom of the pond and then, as their body changes, they'll float to the surface,” said Block. 

The Travis County Sheriff's Office said the body is an adult Hispanic male, wearing a black shirt, blue jeans and black work boots.

Even though there were two reports on people being swept away Thursday night, so far no one has reported a missing person to police.

“It's very important for anyone who knows of anyone; friends, acquaintances, to go ahead and call 911 and say, ‘Hey, I think this person is missing and might have been in that area.’ Or even if you have a friend that's been missing since the flood, just go ahead and give us a call please,” Block said.

Once the body was located, Travis County Sheriff's Crime Scene technicians used an ATV to access it and process the crime scene. STAR Flight crews then recovered the body and brought it to the Travis County Medical Examiner's office so it could be identified and the cause of death determined,

Tuesday, ground crews will return to the pond to continue searching for victims and the missing truck. They also plan to use DPS sonar equipment and conduct more aerial searches.