Search crews find belongings of missing man at Belton Lake - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Search crews find belongings of missing man at Belton Lake

Sgt. Kelton Sphaler (Source: Fort Hood) Sgt. Kelton Sphaler (Source: Fort Hood)
(Source: Weinhold family) (Source: Weinhold family)
(Source: HNH Pavement Markings) (Source: HNH Pavement Markings)
(Source: HNH Pavement Markings) (Source: HNH Pavement Markings)
(Source: HNH Pavement Markings) (Source: HNH Pavement Markings)

Search crews found belongings of the missing man at Belton Lake Thursday evening.

Weinhold's family says search teams found his jacket, shoes and tackle box on land Thursday. His wife was called to the area to identify the belongings and she says they belonged to Weinhold.

Crews will search the area on land on Friday. They will bring out fresh tracking dogs to help. 

Fort Hood identified a soldier killed in a boating incident on Tuesday. 

Game Wardens found a body during the search for three missing men at Belton Lake on Tuesday. The man was identified as Sgt. Kelton Sphaler. 

Sphaler, along with Scott Weinhold, 25, and an unidentified soldier were boating on Belton Lake when they capsized.   

Weinhold, 25, recently completed four years of military service, stationed in Central Texas. Officials are still searching for his body.

According to Texas Parks and Wildlife officials, the three men were canoeing at Belton Lake on Monday. There was one man on one canoe and two other men on the second canoe.

One of the men was able to swim to shore Monday night, and search crews found the man early Tuesday morning. He is said to be OK. 

According to Game Wardens, they found the man who swam to shore around 2 a.m. on Tuesday. They then left the scene and returned around 9 a.m. to search for the other two men.

Spahler was located across Sparta Valley Park.

Officials are still searching for Weinhold and are utilizing several assets to find the body. It is now a recovery mission.

Texas Parks and Wildlife officials said they are using a TPWD tow fish from their dive team to search the bottom floor. There is also another fireboat with the side scan sonar assisting them.

The Morgan's Point Dive Team is on standby and are waiting to dive on potential targets. 

They called off the search around 6:30 p.m. on Thursday.

DPS, Morgan’s Point Fire Department, Morgan’s Point police, Bell County Sheriff’s Department, Army Aviation Unit, Game Wardens, Fort Hood officials and Texas Parks and Wildlife were all at the scene.

Game Wardens are in charge of the search.

“Our deepest sympathies are with Sergeant Kelton Sphaler’s family during this tragedy as they mourn his life,” said Col. Curt King, commander, 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade. “The 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, including many of Kelton’s friends, will remember his patriotic service to America including several overseas deployments; he will be missed. Sergeant Sphaler was an outstanding Soldier and he was well-known by many Air Defenders across our Army. We have chaplains and counselors available to comfort Soldiers as they remember Kelton’s positive impact on their lives.”

According to Fort Hood, Sphaler’s awards and decorations include a Meritorious Service Medal, four Army Achievement Medals, one Army Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbons, Air Assault Badge, Driver and Mechanic Badge and Marine Qualification Badge Expert Rifle.

A fundraiser has been created to help Scott's family. You can donate here

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