Missing man found dead in Pedernales River in west Travis County

Travis County Sheriff's Office patrol vehicles parked near where a man was found dead in the Pedernales River on Sunday, July 9, 2017. (KXAN/Frank Martinez)
Travis County Sheriff's Office patrol vehicles parked near where a man was found dead in the Pedernales River on Sunday, July 9, 2017. (KXAN/Frank Martinez)

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) – The body of a man who was reported missing was found in the Pedernales River in far west Travis County Sunday afternoon, said the Travis County Sheriff’s Office.

The body was found near the 500 block of Nomad Drive right along the river, which is north of SH 71 and east of Paleface Ranch Road.

Witnesses told law enforcement that Randy Hinkle, 57, was last seen walking toward the dock on his property around 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. After looking for him in the neighborhood and checking with neighbors, Hinkle’s reported him missing at 12:30 p.m. Sunday,

The sheriff’s office summoned its lake patrol to investigate, and they discovered Hinkle’s body in the water at about 2 p.m. Sunday.

Crime scene investigators and the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office are still inspecting the scene and the man’s body to determine his cause of death, but thus far, there are no obvious signs of foul play.

“Anytime someone goes missing in a circumstance like this, we’ll consider it suspicious until we can rule it out,” said Dark.

Neighbors in the area say the stretch of river where the man was found has become increasingly popular over the years.

“I’ve seen a lot of things, people being foolish, maybe going too fast, horseplay,” said Brock, who lives right next to the Pedernales River. “It was just a fine Sunday. Everyone was just minding their own business and having a good time. We were shocked that this happened in our neighborhood.”

“Be mindful that if you are drinking alcohol that you will become intoxicated in the hot sun. And always remember that life jackets, flotation devices — properly worn — will save your life,” said Dark.

Last weekend, a man drowned in the Pedernales River after his brother tried to save him.

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