Body of Texas police chief found near dike

The chief was missing since Friday after a wave knocked him from a boat


Nick Powell
Houston Chronicle

TEXAS CITY, Texas —The U.S. Coast Guard has now confirmed that the body of Kemah Police Chief Chris Reed has been recovered near the Texas City Dike on Sunday.

More than a dozen local state, and federal agencies spent the weekend scouring land and water after a wave knocked Reed from a large vessel around 4 p.m. Friday about two miles north of the Texas City Dike. The 50-year-old was not wearing a life jacket.

Kemah Police Chief Chris Reed (Photo/ Kemah Police Department via Facebook)
Kemah Police Chief Chris Reed (Photo/ Kemah Police Department via Facebook)

A makeshift command center was set up on the dike, with first responder vehicles from all over the Houston-Galveston region parked near a boat launch. About 40 vessels were involved in the search.

The U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew participated in the search from the air, and the Cutter Tiger Shark patrolled the waters looking for any sign of Reed. Members of the Coast Guard and volunteers from Texas Equusearch operated drones from the shore of the levee to assist in the search.

Additional volunteers combed the shoreline of the dike on all-terrain vehicles looking for Reed. Texas City officials have a waiting list for additional volunteers.

Tim Miller, the founder of Texas Equusearch, said that the water conditions in the bay on Saturday were optimal for a search of this magnitude, calm with few rip currents, and he expected that Reed's body would turn up by the end of the day.

"We anticipate he should be floating here before long," Miller said. "We'll be out here 'til the end."

Government and law enforcement colleagues from across the region issued statements of support for Reed and his family on Saturday.

"Our thoughts are with Chief Reed, his family, friends & colleagues," tweeted Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo. "We lift him and all in prayer."

Reed, an Army veteran who served as Kemah police chief since 2016, launched the boat with his wife in the Clear Lake area, according to police radio traffic. She saw him fall overboard north of the levee.

"Large boat came by and knocked her husband off the boat," a dispatcher said. "She hasn't seen him since."

Reed, who also served as a trustee for Clear Creek ISD, is a graduate of Sam Houston State University and LeTourneau University. He previously worked as the city manager in Nassau Bay and at the League City Police Department as its assistant chief.

"Our prayers are with (Reed's wife) Jana and her family. Chris has and always will be a beacon and light for children. We are at a loss of words and hope that we find him," Clear Creek ISD said in a statement.

———

©2019 the Houston Chronicle

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Recommended for you

Join the discussion

Copyright © 2019 PoliceOne.com. All rights reserved.