SPOKANE, Wash. - Thirty-seven days after a Fairchild Airman went missing, James Adam Ramse-Lassiter's body has been found. According to the Spokane County Medical Examiner, Ramse-Lassiter accidentally drowned.
It's possible his canoe capsized in the fast-moving Spokane river.
"It's like a knot in your stomach," Patricia Lassiter said, Ramse-Lassiter's mother. KHQ spoke to Patricia at her home in College Station, Texas.
"You feel like someone has punched you, really, to get the reality of it. But I feel so grateful that we are allowed to have closure."
Spokane County Sheriff's Deputies said fishermen found the body of the 26-year-old Sunday in Long Lake. The lake, which is in Stevens County, is roughly 17 miles away from Bowl and Pitcher where Adam went canoeing on March 31. The river was running so high and so fast that his body traveled up and over Nine Mile Dam and into Long Lake.
Ramse-Lassiter disappeared March 31 after he told friends he was going canoeing in the Spokane River at Riverside State Park. Patricia believes her son went canoeing to get closer to nature and pray. when Ramse-Lassiter did not show up for work the next day, the Spokane County Sheriff's Office Emergency Operations Team (EOT) launched an exhaustive search, spending hours each day with three water vessels and a U.S. Border Patrol helicopter.
His car was later found at Bowl and Pitcher. At the time. authorities did not believe he brought a helmet, dry suit, or a life jacket with him.
The team searched the Spokane River far from Bowl and Pitcher area in Riverside State Park to Nine Mile and Long Lake. Several weeks after he disappeared, Lassiter's canoe and back pack washed up near Seven Mile Bridge. Officials also found a backpack with Ramse-Lassiter's name on it, an ax, flashlight, poncho, and what they believed to be his car keys.
"I am just tremendously grateful for all of the people in Spokane who volunteered and did all of that work and continued to look for him," Patricia said on Monday.
Adam leaves behind a large family. He was the fifth of eight brothers and sisters. He was also a husband. His wife lives in Spokane.
Ramse-Lassiter was a proud Texas A&M graduate who joined the military with plans to be in Special Forces. His mom said he was "very much a man of service" and would "give his life to anybody for basically any reason."
Ramse-Lassiter later moved to Spokane's Fairchild Air Force Base to spend more time with his wife. It was a dream job his family said he loved.
"I believe God has said 'Well done, thou good and graceful servant,'" Patricia said.
In the weeks since Ramse-Lassiter disappeared, Patricia said she's received calls and emails from strangers all over the world about her son's story from as far away as London, England. She said they've reached out to give her strength, support, and prayers.
A service is planned for Ramse-Lassiter on June 2 in the Aggie Field of Honor in College Station, Texas. His family said he will be laid to rest with full military honors.