Body in Payette River identified as missing Kuna man

The stepbrother of Jerry Coburn thanked the community for help with the search for Coburn, who disappeared on May 7, and was found dead on June 1.

GEM COUNTY -- A body discovered in the Payette River Thursday has been identified as a Kuna husband and father who disappeared during a fishing trip more than three weeks ago.

Jerry Coburn, 43, drowned in the river, Coroner John Buck ruled. Friday would have marked Coburn's 44th birthday.

MORE: Man's body found in the Payette River

The identification is a long-awaited answer for Coburn's family, who has been scouring the Payette River and its banks since he went missing May 7.

A witness had seen a man in a blue pickup veer off Idaho 55 and into the Payette River near the Gardena Bridge that morning. The driver was able to get out of the pickup after it hit the water, but was swept away by the raging current before rescuers could reach him.

Coburn's family said they were convinced he was the man in the water, but authorities were unable to say that with absolute certainty until a body or the pickup was found.

RELATEDFamily fears Kuna man was in pickup that plunged into Payette River

The remains were spotted by a passerby near the Montour Bridge, about 15 miles downstream from the spot the pickup swerved into the river.

On Saturday, Coburn's stepbrother, Michael Taggart, talked about the outpouring of support from the community in helping with the search.

"There have been a lot of people who helped out, so I want to thank everybody," Taggart said. "All the business people we don't even know showed up: Silverhawk Aviation, Cascade Rafting Company, Zip Idaho. Silverhawk dropped everything; gave us a helicopter and a couple of hours and a pilot, so that was really kind."

The family set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for the search and other expenses. To donate, click here.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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