A boater who had been missing and who was the object of an intense five-day manhunt was killed by an accidental boat propeller strike, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office.
Officials with the medical examiner listed Matthew Meinert’s place of death as 6 feet underwater in Denton Creek, near the 1700 block of U.S. 377 in Roanoke. Meinert was pronounced dead about 6 p.m. Friday, about the same time his body was recovered.
Meinert, 38, launched a fishing boat from a Trophy Club ramp about 5 p.m. Monday. Meinert’s 2-year-old son, Oliver, was with him. About an hour later, the boat was found beached on the creek bed, just west of U.S. 377.
A search of the area soon began.
About 8:45 a.m. Tuesday, a game warden and Flower Mound police officer were walking through the woods back to the area where the boat was found when Oliver walked right up to them, said Texas Game Warden Cliff Swofford.
“He was dry, scratched-up, scared and cold but he’s fine and we got him reunited with his mother,” Swofford said.
The child was taken to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth as a precaution.
Tarrant and Denton County game wardens were using sonar, boats and a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter, Swofford said.
According to officials involved in the search, more than 50 people from multiple jurisdictions participated, which included at least one helicopter, drones, a K9 team and at least three boats.
But each day the resources dedicated to the search dwindled, and the rescue officially became a recovery operation on Thursday.