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Search continues for Mustang scuba diver missing in Cozumel

By Chris Eversole

The family of a scuba diver from Mustang who has been missing in Mexico since March 13 is vacillating between hope and despair.

Members of the family of Blake Mitchell, 30, went to Cozumel, a Mexican island in the Caribbean Sea, after he stopped texting them.

“The longer he’s missing, and his body hasn’t been found, the more we hope he’s still alive,” said Mitchell’s sister, Erica Diebold, 23, of Norman.

“We realize that foul play is possible. We’re pulling our hair out.”

Blake Mitchell

Mitchell had been back and forth to Cozumel over the past year, and he was receiving on-the-job training to become a scuba instructor, Diebold said.

On March 13, he left his diving class early because he had a toothache, she said. Soon after that, his texts stopped.

Mitchell’s cellphone was found in his backpack, which was left on a diving dock. His motor scooter was found later, Diebold said.

Cozumel is considered relatively safe, but police there haven’t been very helpful, Diebold said.

“We’ve been doing our own police work,” she said. “His best friend, Jorge, is really afraid that something has happened to him.”

Mitchell’s mother, Stacy Layton, returned Saturday from Mexico, and she brought back Mitchell’s dog, Sophie.

The dog is a service animal, who helped Mitchell with depression.

The dog had gone several days without food and water before family members arrived, Diebold said.

Meanwhile, the family is still coping with the death of Mitchell’s brother, Taylor Kinzey, who died Jan. 12 from complications of diabetes, Diebold said.

Mitchell was raised on a Mustang cattle and wheat farm that has been in his family since the 1889 land run, Diebold said.

She said her brother farmed, and he intended to open a scuba shop in Oklahoma City.

Family members are raising money for more search efforts and other expenses, she said.

Updates will be posted on the Facebook page #findblakemitchell.

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