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Body of man who went missing while fishing with sons in Puyallup River found

Lorenzo Perez is missing after falling in the Puyallup River while fishing.
Lorenzo Perez is missing after falling in the Puyallup River while fishing. Courtesy

Pierce County sheriff’s deputies are in the process of recovering the body of a Tacoma fisherman missing since May 29 after falling into the Puyallup River in Sumner, spokesman Ed Troyer said Wednesday evening.

A fisherman found the body north of the 400 block of River Road about 3:50 p.m. Wednesday and called 911, Troyer said.

The body is believed to be that of Lorenzo Perez, 46, who was fishing with two of his children near the Sumner Link Trail when he slipped and fell. Perez’s identification was with the body, Troyer said.

Pierce County medical examiners have not yet confirmed the identity of the body.

Along with Pierce County sheriff’s divers, East Pierce Fire & Rescue and Puyallup police are assisting with the recovery.

Perez brought his family to Washington about 20 years ago when he took a job with Boeing, daughter Amber Budzynski said.

“It’s all very hard for us,” she said by email Wednesday night. “We know he is in a better place, and knowing that gives us peace during this difficult time, and thankful for closure, but the loss hurts.”

Budzynski, who lives in North Carolina, said she was thankful for the first responders who searched for her father and for the people who donated money to help fund further private searches after he wasn’t found in the first few days.

“So many shared with us how my dad had helped them out of a hard spot, or how he once was their Sunday school teacher, or how they knew him around the community,” she said. “And everyone’s story of how he touched their life in one way or another has brought some comfort.

“He was well known as a family man, hard worker, a man of faith, and someone who would give the shirt off his back to someone who needed it. He was the type of man that would see a homeless person and go back to them with a sleeping bag and homemade peanut butter and jelly sandwich. He was someone who was young at heart and knew how to crack some good jokes.”

Kenny Ocker: 253-597-8627, @KennyOcker

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