Franco Garcia: Weeds in water may have impeded search

State Police divers encountered lots of weeds during one of the initial searches for Garcia.

Authorities said an invasive aquatic plant known as milfoil at the bottom of the Chestnut Hill Reservoir might have played a factor in the delayed discovery of missing Boston College student Franco Garcia’s body.

According to Massachusetts State Police Spokesman David Procopio, “heavy weed conditions” in the water hindered a preliminary search conducted one week after Garcia was reported missing from the area.

“They did a superb job covering as much of the reservoir as possible,” said Procopio of the initial search, which spanned over four days using sonar scanners and divers.

“That [weed] condition was present in February and it is present still, today,” he said. “They certainly were tireless in their efforts to search for him.”

According to Procopio, no search can be guaranteed with 100-percent certainty. “Unfortunately it’s not an exact science,” he said.

Justin Billard, a private investigator who worked pro bono for the Garcia family during their search for their son said, “no stone was left unturned.”

The remains – belonging to a young man consistent with Garcia’s age, build and description – were recovered from a spot about 18 feet from the shore. That area was murky and dense with weeds, according to state officials.

Divers continued to search that area Wednesday for evidence after the remains were recovered.


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