AUSTIN (KXAN) — Less than two months after 30-year-old Jason John’s body was found in Lady Bird Lake, another man in his 30s was found dead in roughly the same spot. Both were last seen on Rainey Street.
At approximately 12:50 p.m. Saturday, APD officers found Jonathan Honey, 33, in Lady Bird Lake near 10 Rainey Street, a release from the Austin Police Department said.
Homicide and Missing Persons Unit Detectives, Lake Patrol Unit, along with Crime Scene Specialists, responded to the scene to investigate, they reported.
It’s a story Mitchell Gutierrez is all too familiar with. His 25-year-old brother, Martin was also found dead in the lake several years ago after being last seen on Rainey.
“He was at a bar on Rainey Street. Went alone. And never came back,” Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez and his family have been pushing for change in that area for years, but with recent deaths in the lake, they have convinced the city to put new fences and signs up in the area. Still, they say more needs to be done and fast.
“Obviously the issue is still occurring so there needs to be something done now,” Gutierrez said. “There needs to be changes as far as lighting. There needs to be changes as far as surveillance.”
A spokesperson for Council Member Zohaib “Zo” Qadri, whose district covers Rainey Street, told us the council member is in touch with Honey’s family and that he’s following the investigation closely. He’s also working on the changes families have asked for.
“We just need to push forward for change to happen a whole lot faster because this isn’t going to stop, obviously. It’s been proven multiple times,” Gutierrez said. He’s been in touch with Qadri and says the council member has been very accessible and working with them to make changes.
KXAN has requested the autopsy reports of both men last seen on Rainey Street found in Lady Bird Lake this year. Those take up to 120 days to be released, according to the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Meanwhile, Martin’s 2018 death was ruled an accidental drowning. His family hopes people will be cautious on Rainey so it doesn’t happen again.
“Do not go anywhere alone. That’s what’s been happening. People, all male, all alone… gone,” he said.
Other Lady Bird Lake deaths
A list circulating on social media right now shows a list of bodies found in Lady Bird Lake, many of which link to KXAN articles.
We dug through all of them and found most are not tied to Rainey Street — despite the list circulating in relation to this story — and that many have circumstances that don’t match what happened to the three men talked about in this story.
We have asked APD to weigh in on the theories floating around on social media and will update this article when we get a response.