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Body Believed To Be That Of Missing Kayaker Found In Hudson River

STRAASBURG, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A body was recovered from the Hudson River Monday, following a three-day search for a missing kayaker.

As CSB2's Lou Young reported, the Dutchess County sheriff's office believes the body found was that of Manhattan photographer Ian Jones, 32. He had been kayaking early Saturday morning with his girlfriend, Tali Fruchtmann, 22, near Mills Mansion, a historic home in Staatsburg.

The kayak overturned and the two went into the water. Neither was wearing a life jacket, the sheriff's office said.

Police said Fruchtmann was later picked up by passers-by on a boat after being separated from Jones in the water. Fruchtmann, the daughter of singer Annie Lennox, was frantically swimming in the river alone in the midmorning hours Saturday, officials said.

And in the mid-afternoon Monday, the search for Jones ended north of Poughkeepsie, near President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's home in Hyde Park.

"It's a tragedy," said visiting tourist Tom Deloughry. "And going out on the water at any time without a life jacket is an awful thing."

CBS2 is told it was a Friday night of partying and a bad decision Saturday morning that led Jones and his girlfriend to the middle of the Hudson River on a trip from which only one of them would return.

"Alcohol may have played a role in the capsizing. We're still investigating that," said Dutchess County Sheriff's Capt. John Watterson. "(Fruchtmann) was under the influence of alcohol when interviewed."

Jones and Fruchtmann had driven down from a bed and breakfast in Columbia County to party at one of the riverside mansions. After daybreak, they decided to take the kayak trip rather than drive back.

It turned out to be a fatal mistake, experts said.

"The river is as dangerous as it is beautiful," said forensic scientist Michael Archer.

Archer has been working on a previous Hudson River kayak drowning, in which the survivor was charged with murder. The scene of the incident this weekend is about 60 miles north of the area where kayaker Vincent Viafore, disappeared during an April 19 kayaking trip with fiancée Angelika Graswald.

She told authorities his kayak capsized accidentally and she couldn't save him. But prosecutors say she admitted tampering with his kayak to cause his death.

Graswald has pleaded not guilty to murder.

The similarities between that case and the more recent one were that alcohol was involved, and the fully-clothed victim was found without a life jacket. The dissimilarity is that Fruchtmann was also without a life jacket and was in the same kayak, and police say there is no suspicion of wrongdoing.

But the defense team for Graswald is keeping close tabs on the latest incident.

"I'm not going to give up a defense strategy, but obviously, everyone in the first case is paying attention to this one," Archer said.

Searchers said they feel fortunate they recovered the remains so quickly. The previous victim was missing in the river for than a month before he was recovered.

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