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Family says body found is Jacob Baxter

Rochester police have yet to identify the body found by fishermen Wednesday, but family of a man missing since Monday say they are sure it is him.  "We are feeling more of a peace now," said Christina Baxter.

"Other times I wake up in the morning by myself and I realize that's how it's going to be," she adds.

Her husband Jake fell into the Genesee River while hiking along the High Falls - a place he visited often and felt very comfortable with.  But on Monday, after recent heavy rains, things were different. 

"He wanted to show people the High Falls and how beautiful they were and I guess the water was moving faster than usual," said Christina.  "He slipped and went under very fast.  There was nothing anyone could do."

For two days, family waited for word- finding comfort in photos of a loving father to three children- one born in June.  Laughing in the memories of the man who never did anything half way.  "He was the most serious man when he was serious and then the goofiest person you could ever meet," said Christina.

"I've never met a more passionate person in my life," said brother Timothy Baxter.  "It didn't matter what he was doing if he put his mind to it he was passionate about it."

Jake Baxter was a youth minister who also started a softball league for children in the inner city.  Family said he had great faith in God and was spending his life giving back.  "It's been amazing to see the hundreds of people who've come through the house in these last couple of days who consider him to be family," said brother Jesse Baxter.

"It's inspiring to me, I think we all could be so lucky to leave such a legacy," he adds.

Baxter was working to mentor neighborhood children - taking more than a dozen of them to Bible camp this summer.  "He brought people into his life and made them family," said Jesee.

Jake and Christina's only son will be raised in the circle of a family who will teach him about the father who led by example.  "I'm a better person because of him," said his mother Deb Baxter.  "Even though he's my baby he taught me more than I taught him."

Recently Jake posted a photo of High Falls on his Facebook page with the caption "I love Rochester."  His favorite place is also the place where he left this world.   His family finds comfort in that.  They are planning a memorial service for Saturday and have set up a site ( to raise money  to continue his ministry.

They want to thank the community for hundreds of prayers and share a biblical passage from Romans 11:33-36.

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Washington Times