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The Smith River below Profile Falls in Bristol, where searchers found the body Monday of a Northfield man who drowned last week. (DAN SEUFERT PHOTO)

Body of drowned Northfield man found

BRISTOL – Fish and Game officers using boats to search the Smith River below Profile Falls this morning found the body of a Northfield man missing since last Monday night.

The body of Aaron Hoyt, 32, was found about a half-mile below Profile Falls at about 9:30 a.m., according to Fish and Game officials.

The search for Hoyt began a week ago after he disappeared into fast-moving water following a leap into the icy Smith River. Two friends who were with him told authorities that he was not dared to jump into the water, but the three friends had seen the “Polar Plunge” on the Internet and Hoyt likely was following a fad, authorities said.

Fish and Game officials suspended the search midweek, as rapidly rising water from spring runoff made conditions unsafe for searchers.

Water levels receded by the weekend, and Fish and Game resumed the search all day on Saturday and Sunday, utilizing Fish and Game conservation officers and New England K-9 Search and Rescue dog teams. On Monday, the Bristol Police Department also assisted.

The water level in the Smith River has gone down more than 30 feet since the high water mark on Thursday, Fish and Game officials said.

Fish and Game Lt. James Kneeland again urged the public to use extra caution around all water bodies until warmer air and water temperatures arrive, and water levels return to normal.

“Please take standard precautions, such as wearing a life jacket, and give the spring runoff a chance to occur before planning your water activities," Kneeland said.

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