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COLLIN COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – Divers recovered the body of a man believed to be that of missing former NFL player JaJuan Dawson on Monday night at Lake Lavon in Collin County.
The body was recovered in about 45 feet of water around 11:40 p.m. and matched photos of Dawson, authorities said.
Earlier in the day, the Texas Game Warden dive team went to the lake to assist in the search for the former football player, who disappeared underwater on Sunday.
The 37-year-old man jumped off a boat and into the lake just before 6:30 p.m. and never resurfaced. He was not wearing a life jacket, deputies said.
Dive teams from the Collin County Sheriff’s Office and the Wylie Fire & Rescue Department searched an area near an island off the shore of Clear Lake Park until calling off the effort around 11:00 p.m. on Sunday. The search resumed at 7:00 a.m. on Monday morning, yielding no results.
Tony Norton, Game Warden Captain with Texas Parks & Wildlife, said the teams have a good idea of where Dawson may be in the water.
Norton said that a side scan sonar caught an image on Monday, but the water is deep in that location and visibility was poor.
Family and friends of Dawson waited at the lake for answers. Dawson was with his wife, two children, brother, sister-in-law and niece on the lake Sunday. A friend of the family described him as a strong swimmer, and said that the disappearance is a mystery.
Dawson is a former wide receiver who played for several NFL teams from 2000 through 2004. He was with the Houston Texans in 2003.
Deputies said that Dawson rented a boat from a company near Collin Park Marina. While boats in the water at marinas and docks are allowed out, Lake Lavon public boat ramps only opened last week in two spots. Many access points remain closed do to the effects of flooding in May and June. The lake level is still considered high, and the Army Corps of Engineers has cautioned boaters about debris below the surface.
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