The body of a young Oklahoma father was found weeks after he travelled with his family to Texas for his son’s liver transplant.
The remains of 28-year-old Ridge Cole were discovered in the Brays Bayou River, the recovery nonprofit Texas EquuSearch confirmed to ABC13 on Tuesday. Cole was last seen on Friday in the 1900 block of Holcombe Boulevard in the Texas Medical Center after he went for a walk.
He had travelled to Houston with his wife and 13-month-old son, who was receiving a liver transplant.
His wife unsuccessfully attempted to locate him as the evening progressed and ultimately found out through the “Find my Phone” feature on her phone that Cole’s last location was near the Ronald McDonald Charities where they were staying.
Although authorities have yet to confirm Cole’s identity with an autopsy, EquuSearch volunteers said that the body found matches Cole’s description.
“[His mother] is devastated, but there is also an obvious sense of relief. Her biggest fear was going back home to Oklahoma without her baby. And she doesn’t have to do that now,” Texas EquuSearch search coordinator Mark Edwards told ABC13.
Mr Mark also told local station KHOU that his crews believed Cole accidentally fell in the water, drowned, and that no foul play is suspected.
HPD Dive Team members are on scene of a body observed in Brays Bayou in the 4500 block of Martin Luther King Blvd about 12:10 pm.
No other information at this time. Please avoid the area.#hounews pic.twitter.com/S5MYr3Jvcb
— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) November 15, 2022
“We think he tripped and fell down in that water,” Mr Edwards told the station. “Our heart goes out to this family. They were already having a terrible experience with a baby with a liver transplant and now this.”
Items owned by Cole were reportedly found near the bayou. Houston Police is investigating.
Mr Edwards added that Cole’s son requires close post-surgery care but is continuing to recover successfully from the intervention.