WILLARD BAY STATE PARK, Utah (news4Utah) – The body of a 46-year-old man who died at Willard Bay State Park was recovered on Wednesday and officials are seeking the public’s help in the investigation.
Brandon Larsen from Perry went missing from Willard Bay sometime Sunday night. In an unrelated search of the area, park staff found items on the beach that seemed to have been forgotten by a visitor. These included a chair, sandals, beach towel, and car keys.
Park rangers started an investigation on Tuesday when they noticed Larsen’s vehicle was still in its original spot. Rangers then determined the keys discovered along the beach belonged to Larsen’s vehicle.
The search for Larsen began Tuesday afternoon. His cellphone was found inside a dry bag out in the water. His body was found in the same area at approximately 8 a.m. Wednesday. Larsen was not wearing a life jacket.
Officials are investigating the incident as an apparent drowning as it is believed he brought a paddleboard to Willard Bay with him. The paddleboard has not been located.
Officials are asking for the public’s help. If anyone has found a paddleboard or may have seen Larsen on the board at Willard Bay Sunday, please contact Utah State Parks.
The board is a Dave Scadden Paddle sports inflatable, Grand Slam model. It is lime green with a white border.
The paddleboard, along with any information about Larsen’s activities Sunday, is important to the investigation.
Larsen’s family would like to thank all those who were involved in the search efforts, including Utah State Parks, Box Elder County Search and Rescue, Willard City PD, and Brigham City PD. They also ask that their privacy be respected at this time.
Larsen was a teacher at Weber Innovation High School in Ogden. The Weber County School District released the following statement:
We were informed this morning about the tragic death of one of our teachers, Brandon B. Larsen. Brandon taught business at Sand Ridge Junior High School in Roy for ten years, and then transferred to Weber Innovation High School in 2016 where he taught business and computer programming. He had been with the district for 11 years. Brandon was beloved by students and highly respected by his peers. Our condolences go out to his friends, family and loved ones.
Events like these are often difficult to understand. Schools are in a way like one big family with teachers having a profound impact on children’s lives. The district is currently on summer break, but counselors are available at Sand Ridge and Weber Innovation for students and employees who may be having a hard time and need someone to talk to about Brandon’s passing.
Utah State Parks said they would also like to extend our condolences to Larsen’s friends and family.
They also want to remind everyone to always wear your life jacket when out on the water.