Lady Bird Lake deaths: Family calls on city to do more as death toll rises

Austin police continue to investigate after a body was found in Lady Bird Lake on Monday. 

The family of a man found dead in the water last April is calling out the city and local law enforcement to do more as the death toll at the lake continues to rise.

"I never in a million years thought my family or myself would be going through this, and I don't want anyone to go through this, and I am sorry this keeps happening and there are no answers for it because it's very sad," says Reegan Aparicio, the mother of Chris Clark’s child.

Tears streamed from Reegan Aparicio’s face as she relived the moments she found out her child's father, 30-year-old Chris Clark, was found dead in Lady Bird Lake in April 2023.

He is one of the five men found dead in the lake in 2023. On Monday, Feb. 5, another person was found dead on the north side of the lake.

"They are not trying to do anything, they just close the cases, and they just deem the death undetermined or a drowning, and then they just move on with no answers, nothing for the families," says Reegan Aparicio.

In March 2023, the city put up temporary solar lighting, signage, a fence along the trail, and a temporary camera near the trail head.


After 30-year-old Jason John was found dead in Lady Bird Lake on February 13, 2023. He was last seen leaving Rainey Street after a night out with friends on February 5, 2023. 

"They need to just have lots of barriers around that lake and there needs to be 24-hour patrol around that lake. There is so much going on where Chris was found. I actually go there often. I have been there in the nighttime and there is nothing that is being done, it is very dark, and you can't see anything once you enter the trails," says Reegan Aparicio.

The city is budgeting nearly a million dollars to provide long-term safety improvements. This includes a new camera at the trail head, more lighting, and sidewalks along East Avenue, which are expected to be installed by the summer.

A resident riding by the lake on Monday when the body was discovered says he has seen more police presence, but still worries that there is a suspect on the loose.

"In recent months, we have seen Austin police kind of going up and down the trail with their horses, but yeah, with this back it definitely does concern me that they are not able to find out who is doing this," says Abdul Tabbakha, who lives near Lady Bird Lake.

"I feel like there is a connection and there is something going on at Lady Bird Lake and the police are choosing not to do anything about it. They need to take action. People are hurting out here. My son is 12. He is never going to get his dad back ever. These families that have lost their loved ones are never going to get their loved ones back," says Reegan Aparicio.