19-year-old Dies During Hiking Accident in Jonesville
According to the Alachua County Sheriff's Office, 19-year-old Christian Rhoades went for a run Tuesday afternoon near his father's home in Wyngate Farms. Spokesperson for the Alachua County Sheriff's office, Todd Kelly, says it appears Rhoades was exploring by a cliff near a rocky quarry. Kelly says, "he'd been taking pictures and sending them to friends on his phone."
His family reported him missing around 8:15pm Tuesday when he didn't return home from his run. Rhoades had planned to meet his mother for dinner Tuesday evening, and when he didn't show up or return their calls, they knew something was wrong.
K-9 units, a helicopter, four-wheelers, and teams on foot searched for Rhoades around the quarry area. His body was found near a wooded spot on the quarry on private property. Kelly says, "there were signs Rhoades had been running or hiking in the area where he was found."
Rhoades has been described as being an explorer with a love for the outdoors. "This is a tragic accident that has truly shocked the family," Kelly says.
Rhoades's father, Sean, told TV 20; "we are asking for privacy at this time. My son was a man we should mirror and look up to. He lived a life that was true and to the fullest. He was a best friend to anybody and everybody."
Rhoades's employer and close family friend, Matt Lang, says; " as far as 19-year-old's go, he was the pinnacle of what you'd want for a son."
No funeral arrangements have been set at this time.
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