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Family gets closure after body of missing boater is found

By Dwayne Parker, Reporter, DParker@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 26 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 26 2013 10:36:44 PM CDT

Family gets closure after body of missing boater is found

EXETER TWP., Pa. -

It's been a tough week for the family of a Berks County fisherman who disappeared in the Susquehanna River.

Jose Suarez, 57, from Exeter Twp., went missing two weeks ago after his boat capzised in the Susquehanna River in Lancaster County, authorities said.
Thursday, Suarez's body was found on the banks of the river by a boater, family members said.

Suarez was on the Susquehanna because he was fishing with his girlfriend Bertha Castro from Reading, family members said.

Suarez saved his girlfriend, who can't swim, but he could not save himself.

The current was so trecherous that rescue divers were not allowed to enter the water and had to search for Suarez from the surface, authorities said.

Meanwhile, Suarez's family prayed from the banks of the river.

"To even know that you can't find the body and there's no closure. Okay, The closure is the hardest part. Us dealing with it day by day, saying Dad, where are you," said Johanna Reyes, daughter.

Earlier this week the family got word that a man had been found, but in the end, it turned out not to be Jose.

Jose's body was found not even a mile from where he disappeared, family members said.

"He was only found a half a mile from where the boat sank," said Jose Suarez, son.  "So we were right there, looking over the waters where he was down. We knew he was there, we just couldn't get to him. Those currents are horrible."

Officials say Suarez was not wearing a life vest, something his family says he always had.

"My dad made a huge mistake there. You know every time we went out on the boat with him, we always had life vests," said Suarez's son. "But You know my dad went out, to me, a hero. My dad to me is always a hero."

Family members say the wake for Jose Suarez will take place at the Henninger Funeral Home from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., located at 229 N. 5th Street in Reading.

The funeral is scheduled for 9:00 a.m., Wednesday.