Father and 5-Year-Old Son Found Dead in Lake After Failing to Return From Hunting Trip

Playing Dad and Son, 5, Who Drowned While Hunting Were Not Wearing Life Jackets: Cops

The bodies of Texas father and his 5-year-old son were found in a lake after the two were reported missing after failing to return home after a duck hunting trip.

Corey Saunders, 26, and his boy, Nathan, left before dawn Monday bound for Lake Tawakoni, about 60 miles east of Dallas, wife and mother Megan Saunders told authorities.

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She reported them missing Monday evening when they never returned home.

Searchers found the dad's pick-up truck and boat trailer Monday night near the lake. The family's dog, Hunt, had made it to shore and led law enforcement and state game officers to the boy's body, which was floating in the water, officials said. 

Rescuers resumed their search at daylight Tuesday. They found the father's body about 9:45 a.m., not far from where his son's remains were discovered, in about eight feet of water near their overturned boat, according the Hunt County Sheriff's Office. 

"If you want to see a game warden cry, this is the place to be," said Capt. Steve Stapleton of the state's fish and game department at a Tuesday press conference. 

Neither the boy nor his father had been wearing a life jacket, authorities said. The pair's small vessel may have been overburdened with hunting equipment, and an area storm may have contributed to their deaths, officials said. 

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An autopsy determined the boy died from accidental drowning, according the sheriff's office. The father's post-mortem is pending.

"Anyone who knows Corey and Nathan knows they were inseparable, and always down to hunt," a GoFundMe site established to help Megan with burial costs reads. "Corey and Nathan are loved by so many and [are] country to the core."

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