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Body recovered from Mabel Lake, search for missing teacher over

John Keeley went missing on a kayaking trip on July 19.
John Keeley went missing on a kayaking trip on July 19. Submitted

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP has recovered a body from the Lumby end of Mabel Lake in the southern interior of B.C.

Const. Kelly Brett said police will not release the identity of the deceased, but she confirmed the search for missing teacher John Keeley is over.

“No we are not looking for the missing teacher at this time,” she said on Sunday.

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Brett said the death is not deemed suspicious and the BC Coroners Service has now taken over the file.

READ MORE: Search for missing Vernon man about to expand

Brett said members of the public in the area discovered the body offshore about three kilometres up the mountain hillside from Mabel Lake on Friday evening.

WATCH BELOW: There is still no sign of a missing Vernon teacher after he failed to come home from a kayaking trip late last week

There is still no sign of a missing Vernon teacher after he failed to come home from a kayaking trip late last week
There is still no sign of a missing Vernon teacher after he failed to come home from a kayaking trip late last week

She said given challenges with the remote terrain, the recovery operation wasn’t completed until Saturday morning.

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“Given the location, it was dark, and the area the body was found in, it was left for the next morning for search and rescue and RCMP to go in,” she said.

According to Lumby RCMP, John Keeley, 58, was last seen on Thursday, July 19, at approximately 1:30 p.m., when he left home to go kayaking.

READ MORE: Okanagan teacher missing after kayaking trip

When he failed to return, he was reported missing. Police say they later recovered his kayak on Mabel Lake Road and his vehicle on Mabel Lake Forest Service Road.

BC Coroners Service spokesperson Andy Watson said he couldn’t comment until Monday.

Global News has requested comment from the Vernon Search and Rescue.

-With files from Megan Turcato