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Casey Christie

A photo of Michael May provided by the family.

A body recovered from Isabella Lake Wednesday is that of a local member of the Army National Guard.

The coroner's office identified him Thursday morning as Michael May, 29, of Bakersfield.

Several people on Wednesday said they'd heard through friends that the victim was May. Daniel Garza, a close friend of May, said he was doing his best just to make it through the day after hearing the news.

"I don't really know what to do about it," Garza said. "I'm kind of still in shock and don't want to believe it."

Garza served with May in the National Guard and described him as always happy regardless of the circumstances they were in. Garza said May was married and the father of two children.

The coroner's office reported Wednesday afternoon that search and rescue members had recovered a body. Garza said he'd heard that May was on a kayak that overturned and that a boat quickly went to his location but was unable to find him.

Former National Guard member Andrew Vanderpool, who also served with May, said he met him when the two were deployed to Kosovo in 2008.

"He was real caring and really funny to be around," Vanderpool said.

May was intimidating when you first saw him because he was short and very muscular, Vanderpool said. But he always had a smile on his face.

Vanderpool said he'd last seen his friend about a year ago, but he was recently thinking about him. He said his friend was a thoughtful person who would "notice any problems going on, and he'd take the time to stop whatever he was doing and take the time to talk about it."