By Alex Mccuaig, Southern Alberta Newspapers
The missing person investigation into the disappearance of Kirby Lust came to a tragic conclusion with the recovery of his body from a frozen reservoir Thursday.
“We will all miss Kirby terribly and struggle to understand such a senseless accident,” read a statement attributed to the Lust family and posted on the Facebook page dedicated to locating the man.
“We hope that you will continue your compassion by allowing our family to begin grieving in private.”
The man’s father, Kim Lust, and close friends of the family were at the site for much of the day Thursday as divers worked to recover a body from the dugout.
A chaplain with the city fire service was also on site.
Redcliff RCMP Staff Sgt. Sean Maxwell said there isn’t anything indicating foul play.
“We’re going to go to the medical examiner’s office at this point and they will hopefully be able to tell us a little more information,” said Maxwell.
“If it goes to something that requires further investigation from us, we’ll do that … Nothing at this point is leading towards there being a criminal act.”
Maxwell said it’s a sad situation “and we just feel for the family.”
Lust, 25, was last seen leaving Jigger’s Pub late Saturday night and was reported missing Monday, with the man’s parents making a public plea for his safe return.
Private air and land searchers combed the area but failed to locate the missing Seven Persons-area resident.
On Wednesday afternoon, crews working at a Cypress County industrial development reported a truck in a reservoir located just past a sharp bend in Range Road 60 leading up to Township Road 120.
County and city fire departments, including Medicine Hat’s aquatic rescue team, along with RCMP and paramedics, converged on the site but were unable to locate Lust Wednesday.
Fire department divers returned to the scene Thursday morning making multiple excursions into the estimated three-metre-deep dugout, locating a body midday.
Lust is survived by his four-year-old son.
Lust was an active member of the Seven Persons 4H Club, serving on its junior council in 2002 and winning the overall grand champion steer competition at the 2007 District Breeding Stock Show.