Lady Bird Lake deaths: Safety concerns growing after another body found

Concern is growing along Lady Bird Lake. Last year, five men were found dead in the water; a little over a month into the new year, the body of a woman was discovered as well.

"This can't be a coincidence," said Brandy Smith, who lives in Austin. "I was born and raised here in Austin. I have spent my whole life here, and it has never been an issue like this until the last few years."

Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin is the center of several death investigations where multiple bodies were found lifeless, five last year and one this year.

 According to Austin police, there has been no foul play in any of the cases. Some residents are not convinced.

"They need to get to the bottom of it," Smith said. "I think there is foul play, people aren't just falling into the lake. I’ve heard different things, I heard it is drunk people, but that can't be the case for all of these people."

Others believe police are properly investigating the cases,

"It might not have been foul play involved, it could have been something as simple as somebody having had too much and falling in," Ruben Hernandez, who lives in Austin, said.

The discovery of the bodies is concerning for those that use the trail to run and participate in water sports.


"We paddle board in the lake, dogs swim in the lake," Smith said. "That is horrendous, the lake is dirty enough with all the seaweed and pollution, but I mean, to find a dead body, that is just jarring to think about."

Last week, the latest victim was found on the north side of the lake. According to police, it was a woman. In 2023 all the bodies found in the lake were men.

"I feel bad for those families because we trust the city to get to the bottom of things," Smith said. "Sometimes they are taking the easy way out and saying it is not foul play because that is the easiest answer for them, but I think there is more to it." 

This summer, the city does plan to add nearly $1 million in cameras and lighting at the lake in response to the deaths. 

"They need to do that because, again, there is a lot of people around here, it is not like it used to be," Smith said.