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Search continues for missing Black River canoeist

The search continues for a man who went missing in the Black River near Watertown when his canoe capsized 11 days ago.

The Watertown Daily Times has identified the man as John Villafranco, a 24-year-old fishing guide originally from Texas. The paper reports that Villafranco and his wife, Lydia, were canoeing together when the boat capsized. She was pulled ashore by Fort Drum soldiers and he was swept away.

The Jefferson County Sherriff's Department would not confirm the man's name. They said they have been in constant communication with the man's family, and plan to release his name once the investigation is over and his body is found.

The department says it has searched with divers, helicopters and on foot. It encourages the public to call the police if they see anything suspicious in the river, and encourages everyone to exercise caution near waterways.

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Reported by

Sarah Harris
Reporter and Producer

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