‘God has given me great peace’: Father reflects on loss of his son


SURRY COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — Nine weeks ago on, Jan. 3, 29-year-old Kyle Englehart and his friend Austin Savage loaded up Kyle’s boat at a James City County marina and headed for Gray’s Creek.

They made it to the duck blind Englehart wanted to prepare for a hunt the next day. Unfortunately, the trip they took across the James River would be their last. A nasty nor’easter was bearing down on Hampton Roads, and the two fell victim to Mother Nature.

Every day for those nine weeks, David Englehart walked the beaches, searching for his son. It has been a stunning example of a father’s steadfast love for a son lost.

“I would never have giving up looking for Kyle no matter what,” David said. “People think I search for 65 days in a row. I would search for 65 more years. That is what is in my heart,” he told us.

Related: Body recovered near Tylers Beach ID’d as missing boater

Last Friday, Englehart’s body was found on a beach at Swanns Point just across the creek from the duck blind he was trying to reach.

His body was found more than five miles from Austin’s, which was found a few weeks ago down the river near Smithfield.

Kyle always had a fishing rod in his hand. “He always wanted to go and fish and hunt and be near the water, and I would tell him ‘let’s go.'”

When asked about the ill-fated trip Kyle and Austin took in the throes of a nor’easter hitting Hampton Roads, David replied, “I know Kyle was a chance taker, and I am too, and I would have went with him.”

David says he still doesn’t believe that Kyle and Austin drowned that day. “I don’t accept that, no sir,” stated David.

Related: Father mourns son who went missing on icy waters near Jamestown

10 On Your Side has been with David at the duck blind, searching the beaches, trying to find what was his.

“We still want answers. We probably won’t get the answer to what actually happened on the water,” says David. Even though his son was found, there is no closure for him. “Discovery of his body has not given me closure, no. I don’t believe in closure…I do believe I can get to closure if I live long enough.”

David turns to a place he knows. He turns to God.

“God has given me a great peace, oh he has. I’m going to tell you this,” his voice trails off with emotion. He regroups and pushes on, “I’m going to preach my son’s funeral. That will probably be the hardest day of my life, other than hearing my son had been positively identified with his fingerprints and his wallet was on him.”

Kyle Englehart’s service will be out of town on March 31.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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