Family and friend speak after body of missing kayaker found

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LEE COUNTY, Fla.- FWC officials recovered the body of Andrew Barber, the missing kayaker, Friday. An officer spotted with on patrol; he saw a body floating. Family and friends who spent the past week searching for Barber were both torn and relieved when they heard the news.

“I knew, I knew something had happened,” said Andrew’s best friend Brooke Peyton. “I called his grandmother and she let me know FWC had found a body.”

The worst fears of Andrew Barber’s family and friends were confirmed. Through tears Peyton said “the part that hurt the most was the unknown. We all had so much hope, somehow, we were going to find him; somehow, somewhere he was okay.”

Barber’s body was found 400 yards in span “B” of the Sanibel Causeway. It was near where Barber had last been seen seven days ago.

Barber disappeared after he and his friend when kayaking to picnic island. Their kayak’s capsized. Barber’s friend made it to shore, he did not.

“My heart is broken for his mother, I can’t imagine what she is going through,” said Peyton. “She has been inspirational and brave through the whole thing; Andrew would be proud of her.”

The pain is difficult to describe. “There is closure and there is a sense of relief in one way, sadness mixed with relief, at the same time you are grateful for all the efforts that have been put forth,” said Barber’s Uncle Thad Bullock.

Barber’s family says he was full of life, he loved the water and outdoors.

“Andrew loved life, he loved, he lived life in a way that would make a lot of people envious,” said Bullock of his nephew.

“A world without Andrew Barber, I’m not super excited to face it,” said Peyton. “It hurts.”

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