Auburn Toddler and 81-year-old Cayuga Man Found Dead After Tragic Fishing Trip

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A weekend fishing trip turned tragic on Saturday (August 24), following discovery of the bodies of a 5-year-old child and an 81-year-old family friend who were reported missing when they didn’t come home the night before.

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Deputies with the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office say no foul play is suspected, as the man was a close family friend who often spent time with the boy and took him fishing.

Investigators believe the two were fishing from a spot on the north end of Cayuga Lake, near South Mays Point Road in the town of Tyre, when they likely slipped off a bank and into the water.

State Police K-9 units were joined by a police helicopter during a search that ran up until 11 p.m. Friday, resuming early Saturday morning.

Authorities first located the pair’s vehicle and fishing equipment, followed by personal items floating in the water nearby. A team of divers located the bodies around 9:00 Saturday morning.

The young boy was identified as Christoph Jones, of Auburn, and the 81-year-old man as Essie Hall, of Cayuga. Both were pronounced dead at the scene by Seneca County Coroner Wade Morabito.

Deputies were assisted by state police, the Auburn Police Department and the state canal corporation.

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