Authorities identify man who drowned kayaking west of Payson

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PAYSON, Ariz. (AP) -- Authorities have recovered the body of a Phoenix-area man who apparently drowned while kayaking on a remote stretch of the East Verde River in central Arizona.

The Gila County Sheriff's Office says the body of 64-year-old James E. McComb was retrieved by a state Department of Public Safety helicopter about 11:30 a.m. Monday.

A four-person kayaking group reported that one of the members drowned Saturday afternoon. They say his kayak overturned and couldn't be righted on the river west of Payson and north of Fountain Hills.

The other members of the group were eventually able to retrieve the body, but had to leave it at a marked sight for pickup later as they went for help.

Sheriff's officials say they are investigating McComb's death.

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