On April 17 the Leon County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area of Jack Vause Landing, near the Fort Braden community, in reference to a death investigation.
Deputies, detectives and dive team personnel responded and recovered the body of a white male approximately 500 yards west of the landing, along the southern shore of Lake Talquin.
Preliminary autopsy results indicated the man drowned.
Detectives used a name on a key chain found in the victim’s pocket to search for area residents who currently live or own property near Lake Talquin. This produced information that led LCSO Latent Fingerprint Examiner Felicia Bowen to compare prints obtained from the victim with those on a Federal Immigration and Naturalization form.
This comparison resulted in a positive identification of the victim as 63-year-old Christopher David Howell of Quincy, Florida.
The continuing investigation has revealed that Howell took up kayaking as a hobby and recently purchased a kayak from a national outfitter.
On April 19, officers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and detectives recovered a kayak, after a boater discovered it floating upside down in Lake Talquin.
Based on the evidence located with the kayak and with Howell’s body, detectives and FWC officers believe that Howell’s death was an accident and appears to have happened when Howell’s kayak capsized and he became separated from it.