Missing Austin man Jason John's body found in Lady Bird Lake, police say

After eight straight days of not knowing where 30-year-old Jason John could be, the John family finally got the answer they had been longing for.

Austin police said around 6:40 p.m. on Feb. 13, officers found John in Lady Bird Lake near 30 East Avenue.

"We heard there was some activity by the lake. We knew we had to rush it down there because we were told there was actually police tape," said Rinju John, brother of Jason.

According to a spokesperson with Austin Travis County EMS, medics were called out to Lady Bird Lake near Cummings Street and East Ave Monday evening. There, medics pulled a body out of the water. The John family says the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed it was Jason.

"We're still in shock, and we're still processing, but at least now we have closure," said Rinju.

Jason had been missing since February 5. He was last seen leaving Rainey Street after a night out with friends. 

According to his older brother Rinju, surveillance video picked up about 10 minutes of Jason's walk home and the other eight minutes left undocumented due to the lack of cameras by the trail.

Over a week later, Jason's body was found in the lake. Rinju says the medical examiner told the family there was no visible damage or scars on Jason.

"It's never easy. We're just going to continue to remember him," he said.

Rinju says Jason was the voice of the family because he was such a friendly guy.

"He's always a jokester, and he just made everyone so happy, so I'm going to miss the presence of having him around," said Rinju.


Rinju firmly believes the trail by the lake needs better lighting along with cameras. He adds he is not alone in thinking that because his mother firmly believes that could have saved Jason, and she plans to be the one to do something about it.

"The main thing is she's not done with Austin. She has planned to maybe move to Texas. She wants that trail to be lit up. She wants cameras there. We all want that," he said.

Rinju says getting lights on that trail would be the ultimate testimony to Jason's life.

"Then going forward, anyone that walks a trail will be safe, and they will know that it was Jason John that made this happen," he said.

FOX 7 Austin reached out to Mayor Kirk Watson on the family’s call for better lighting.

"We all held out hope that Mr. John would be found safe. I’m heartbroken for Mr. John’s friends and family and very sorry he passed. Council Member Qadri and I share the family’s concerns about lighting and safety along the trail, and we are in contact with The Trail Conservancy on ways to address these issues. I’d also like to thank the Austin police and the search and rescue teams for their tireless efforts."

The investigation into the circumstances of John’s death is currently ongoing, police said.

Anyone with any information should contact the Austin Police Department at 512-974-TIPS.  You may submit your tip anonymously through the Capital Area Crime Stoppers Program by visiting austincrimestoppers.org or by calling 512-472-8477.