Erie County coroner: Father, daughter kayakers deaths were accidental, drowning listed as cause

SANDUSKY, Ohio - The Erie County coroner says a young girl and her father kayaking in Lake Erie on April 7 died from drowning.

On April 26, the body of 12-year-old Viola Francis was found about eight miles north of the Vermilion River. Several hours later, the body of her father, Jonathan Francis, was found closer to Cedar Point's shoreline.

Jonathan and Viola went kayaking April 7 and never returned. The search for the two was suspended in Sandusky Bay after their kayaks were found on the other side of the water the next day.

The circumstances around the missing persons investigation made things difficult for the family, especially after investigators reported neither kayaker was wearing a life jacket.

Jonathan's mother earlier told NewsChannel5 her memories and faith are guiding her through this difficult time.

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