BELL COUNTY - Around 8:40 a.m. Tuesday, a Bell County Sheriff's Deputy spotted the body of Travis Robinson, 33, of Killeen, who had floated to the top of the water -- roughly 139 feet from the shoreline -- toward the middle of Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir in Bell County, according to Sheriff's Office Major T.J. Cruz.
The Game Warden was notified, a boat was dispatched, and officials were able to get in the water and recover Robinson's body, Cruz said.
The recovery came early. Divers were not scheduled to begin searching again until 4 p.m. Tuesday, after authorities suspended their search for a second time at 8:30 p.m. Monday. First responders were first dispatched to the drowning around 8 p.m. Sunday, but they were forced to stop searching then due to inclement weather. They resumed the search at 9 a.m. Monday, but heavy vegetation made the continued search difficult.
"Even though Stillhouse is a very clear lake water-wise, the visibility is very minimal," Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Lt. Billy Champlin said.
A family member said Robinson was swimming with friends at the reservoir when he tried to swim to an island approximately 100 yards offshore, according to Bell County Sheriff's Department Lt. Donnie Adams. When Robinson realized he could not make it to the island, he turned around to return to shore but became submerged underwater and never resurfaced, Cruz said.
The Texas Game Wardens were leading the investigation, officials announced Sunday. The Morgan's Point Resort Dive Team, Bell County Sheriff's Department, Belton Fire Department, Nolanville Police Department, Salado Fire Department and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were all called to assist during the search process.
A Justice of the Peace officially pronounced Robinson dead at 9:37 a.m. Tuesday and ordered an autopsy. Officials confirmed Tuesday Robinson's next of kin were notified his body had been recovered.
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