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Polk Co. man fishing out of canoe likely drowned | News

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Polk Co. man fishing out of canoe likely drowned

Lake Wales, Florida - The Polk County Sheriff's Office Dive Team recovered the body of 22-year-old Cody Allen Hayes out of Lake  Starr Sunday morning. Lake Starr is located near Lake Wales. Hayes is from Frostproof.

Divers were called out to the lake early Sunday morning after Hayes didn't return to shore after a canoe he was in turned over.

According to investigators, Hayes and 19-year-old Michael Paul Duey of Auburndale went out onto Lake Starr to fish in a canoe around midnight on Saturday, but while they were in the middle of the lake, the canoe tipped over knocking both men into the water.

Duey told deputies he was able to swim to shore. However, Cody Hayes was having trouble swimming. Duey said the water was freezing cold and he could barely swim to shore
and couldn't help Hayes. He says as soon as he made it to shore, he went to his sister's house on Lindsey Drive off Lake Starr and had her call the sheriff's office for help.

Investigators say there were flotation devices in the canoe but neither man was wearing a life vest. The Lake Wales Fire Department responded and launched their boat, but couldn't find Hayes. The Polk County Sheriff's Office marine unit also responded.

Cody Hayes' body was found and recovered at about 11:30 a.m. Sunday morning. 

At this point in the investigation, detectives say it appears that Hayes likely drowned. The Medical Examiner's Office will conduct an autopsy to determine the exact cause and manner of death. 



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