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Body of missing kayaker on Saxapahaw Lake recovered

ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. – The body of a kayaker who went missing in Alamance County on Sunday evening has been recovered.

The body of 21-year-old Joseph Taylor Smith was found in the same general area on Saxapahaw Lake where he went missing at about 6 p.m. Sunday.

Deputies said Smith was with a group of friends on the lake and their kayak overturned.

Eventually they were able to get the kayak up, but Smith decided to swim back to shore instead of getting back in the kayak. Authorities said he wasn’t wearing a life jacket.

A close friend that grew up with Smith in Alamance County recalls a goofy kid who was always full of entertainment and wisdom.

“He always made me laugh. He made a bad thing good and he always tells me what I didn’t want to hear, but it’s what I needed to hear,” Brittany Call said.

Call says it brought her closure when she heard Smith's body was recovered, but she will forever miss a friend that brought her so much joy.

“I’ll always be thinking about him and there’s not going to be a time that goes by that I’m not thinking about him, so I just want him to know that,” Call said.

Nearly 30 volunteers helped crews search for him on Monday.