AUSTIN (KXAN) — Police confirmed the body pulled from Lady Bird Lake Monday belonged to missing man Jason John, a 30-year-old last seen on Rainey Street.
John was reported missing on Feb. 5. Friends and family formed several search parties to try and find him.
“It’s been a tough 10 days,” said Rinju John, Jason’s older brother.
He described Jason as a happy-go-lucky guy who “would walk into a room with no one with him, and leave with a whole bunch of friends.”‘
“The amount of support especially from closest friends, they were absolutely relentless,” said Rinju. “I was in awe of how hard they were working.”
As they searched, Rinju had an observation about the trails along the lake.
“The lack of footage after the Rainey street area…. We didn’t know how he went down the trail, if he went down the road,” he said. “The lighting there is horrendous.”
Mayor Kirk Watson posted on Twitter Tuesday that he and District 9 Council Member Zo Qadri shared the family’s concerns about lighting.
“Our office just wanted to be a resource,” said Qadri.
The city leaders are meeting the The Trail Conservancy Thursday to discuss further safety options.
The 2021 Safety and Mobility Study of the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail recognized the trail had minimal lighting. It also pointed to the following factors – gathered through research and community input – as reasons not to light the entire trail: wildlife conservation, light pollution, cost and minimal overnight use.
The Trail Conservancy said it still views safety as its top priority, and members look forward to the Thursday discussion.
Light isn’t the only concern Rinju has about his brother’s death.
“From the footage I saw in the Rainey area, I do believe maybe he was drugged,” he said.
He said the family ordered a toxicology report as part of the autopsy.
“There was no visible scarring or scratches on his body, so we won’t know 100 percent until the autopsy is done – but we don’t believe he was attacked,” he said.
Police said the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information can call APD at (512) 974-TIPS.