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Wyoming college football recruit presumed dead after vanishing while boogie boarding in California: officials

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The search for a missing Wyoming University college football recruit ended Friday, with authorities still unable to recover the teen’s body after he vanished in the waters off the California coast.

Naphtali Moimoi, 18, of Hayward, was last seen boogie boarding in Half Moon Bay. At some point, his friends saw him in the water unresponsive before he disappeared, the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office said. Authorities used two helicopters and two boats to search for him before calling the search off Thursday because of visibility issues. He is now presumed dead.

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Authorities resumed the search for Moimoi on Friday after a possible sighting, but later in the day officially ended the search.

“We have concluded the search on the waters in Half Moon Bay. We will continue to work with local authorities to be on the lookout & follow up on any information we receive,” San Mateo Sheriff’s Office said. “Thank you to everyone who assisted with the search efforts.”

Naphtali Moimoi played football at Hayward High School.

Naphtali Moimoi played football at Hayward High School.
(University of Wyoming)

Students at Hayward High School held a vigil for their classmate Friday night.

Moimoi signed with Wyoming in December during the early signing period.

Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl released a statement Monday.

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“We have been talking with Naphtali’s family, and our hearts go out to the entire Moi Moi family at this extremely difficult time,” he said. “As a Cowboy Football family, we are all thinking of and praying for Naphtali, his family and his friends.”

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