Maine Warden Service divers recovered the body Friday of a man who was reported missing Thursday night after he went canoeing on Panther Pond in Raymond.

Christopher Hughes, 52, of Trumbull, Connecticut, was found around 9:15 a.m. in about 16 feet of water, said Cpl. John MacDonald, spokesman for the warden service.

MacDonald said wardens are looking into whether alcohol was a factor in Hughes’ death.

Hughes went canoeing around 10 p.m. Thursday along the eastern shore of Panther Pond. He and his co-workers were staying at a camp off Sloan’s Cove Road in Raymond while working construction in New Hampshire, MacDonald said. The camp is owned by a family member of a co-worker.

One of Hughes’ friends and co-workers, David Donahue, also from Connecticut, went out on the pond with Hughes in a separate kayak. Donahue heard Hughes yelling from a short distance away but was not able to get to him.

Hughes did not have a life jacket on, MacDonald said, and wardens were unsure what happened to cause him to go into the water.

His body was found about 200 feet offshore from the end of Sloan’s Cove Road, a private dirt lane populated with seasonal camps.

The Raymond Fire Department and game wardens searched the area into the early morning and found Hughes’ overturned canoe.

The warden service began searching that area with divers and aircraft early Friday. Hughes’ body was taken to Augusta for examination by the state Medical Examiner’s Office. It will then be transported back to Connecticut.

Matt Byrne can be contacted at 791-6303 or at:

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