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Missing Texas deputy found dead in Lake Austin

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[September 20, 2014]  (Reuters) - The search for a missing Texas sheriff deputy who was swept away during heavy rains in Austin earlier this week concluded on Friday when police discovered her body in a nearby lake, officials said.

Police recovered the body of 35-year-old Senior Deputy Jessica Hollis in Lake Austin around 2 p.m. local time (1900 GMT) following a search that was aided by boats, helicopters and rescue dogs, the Travis County Sheriff's Office said.

"We wanted to bring her home alive, but she's been out there in that water for a while. And she's back home, and she's not out there by herself anymore," Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton told reporters at a news conference.

Hollis, a seven-year veteran at the office, was last heard from early on Thursday morning when she radioed that her car was being swept away by rushing flood waters at a low water crossing, the office said.

By the time rescuers arrived at the scene near the Mansfield Dam on the Colorado River in northwest Austin, her car was already downstream and underwater, police said.

About 4 inches of rain fell in the area on Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service, and a flash flood watch was in effect through most of Thursday.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco, editing by Louise Heavens)

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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