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Balloon release to be held for 19-year-old Lake Elsinore resident found deceased in Canyon Lake

The body of Jason Eilola-Coye, 19, was found in Canyon Lake on March 14, 2021. On the first anniversary of his death, the family plans to hold a balloon release in his honor. Photo provided by Diana Hart.

A balloon release will be held on the one-year anniversary of the death of 19-year-old Jason Eilola-Coye whose body was discovered by a fisherman about 100 yards from a dock in the north ski area of Canyon Lake on March 14, 2021. The family plans to hold a private balloon release near the location where Eilola-Coye was found.

Although Eilola-Coye’s death was ruled a drowning, the family still finds the circumstances of his death “suspicious.” Eilola-Coye was found unclothed and with no external trauma. His grandmother, Diana Hart, said her grandson would never swim naked in the lake. “He was very modest and he didn’t like water,” Hart said. “No drugs were found in his system. Nothing about his death makes sense.”

Eilola-Coye’s cell phone and clothing were never located.

According to Hart, the Menifee Police Department took her grandson to a mental health urgent care in Perris on the afternoon of February 28, 2021. “He suffers from bipolar and wanted the police to assist him with checking himself into the facility,” Hart said. “We later found out he never checked in.”

Eilola-Coye was living with a friend in Lake Elsinore at the time of his death but had been in the cities of Menifee and Perris prior to his death. Hart said her grandson was also familiar with the Murrieta and Hemet areas.   

Diana Hart kneels on the dock to release a wreath in the water where her grandson was found two weeks earlier. Photo by Canyon Lake Insider.

Since the death of her grandson, Hart said the family has struggled to look for answers and hopes someone will come forward with information. “Our family will never be the same,” Hart said “We’ll never have closure.”

According to Hart, her grandson was last seen with his cell phone and wearing a white tank top, gray sweatpants, and tennis shoes. “None of these items have ever been found,” she said.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Investigator Poznanski at the Lake Elsinore Sheriff’s Station at 951-245-3300.

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