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Body of missing Cree man swept away by current found near Waswanipi

The body of Eric Happyjack, 40, was found in a river near the Cree community of Waswanipi on Friday around 7 p.m. EST.

Eric Happyjack, 40, jumped into river for a swim following a night of drinking on June 2

An Eeyou Eenou Police Force van is seen parked near the riverbank, hitched to a search boat. Police used boats to search the river for Eric Happyjack's body, as well as heat-detection cameras and underwater divers. (CBC)

The body of a missing man was found Friday near the Cree community of Waswanipi, Que.

Eric Happyjack, 40, was last seen more than two weeks ago on June 2.

Friends had tried to stop him from jumping into the Waswanipi River for a swim after an evening of drinking.

They say he was carried away by the current.

Search crews found Happyjack on Friday around 7 p.m. EST.

Presumed drowned

A week ago, search crews presumed Happyjack had drowned, but they continued to search for his body. 

Divers with Quebec's provincial police helped in the search. A helicopter with a heat-detection camera was also used, but turned up nothing.

Two local elders volunteered to set up a net across the river not far from the bridge, where Happyjack was last seen. 

Harry Sharl, commanding officer of the Eeyou Eenou Police Force in Waswanipi, says the community is considering ways to prevent similar incidents from happening, including asking Quebec's transport department to put up a fence around the bridge.

With files from Jaime Little

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