Body found in Colorado identified as missing man from Blount County

FREMONT COUNTY, Colo. (WVLT) -- According to the Fremont County, Colorado, coroner, a body has been identified as that of a man who went missing after moving from Blount County.

Eric Ashby moved to Colorado in summer 2016, and according to his father, Paul Ashby, Eric's goal was to start a whole new life. However, his plans were cut short when on June 28, 2017, he went underwater while trying to cross the Arkansas River and never resurfaced.

According to the Fremont County Coroner, the body identified as that of Ashby was found east of a cement plant in the Arkansas River.

Following an autopsy on an unidentified body on August 1, 2017, DNA samples from Ashby's father were sent to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for comparison. On January 26, 2018, the Fremont County Coroner received the DNA report for identification, and the body found in the Arkansas River was positively identified.

In November 2017, Ashby's parents told Local 8 News their son's friends had deserted him when he was drowning. His parents channeled their grief into action, however, starting a petition to pass new legislation in Tennessee.

"Eric's Law" states that people must call for help if they see someone fighting for their life.

"This law simply says you have to do something. You can't just walk away," Paul Ashby told Local 8 News.