10 Jun - 
Body of Texas police chief, MMA referee Chris Reed recovered after boating accident

Authorities recovered the body of a Texas police chief who fell out of a boat into Galveston Bay last Friday.

The U.S. Coast Guard said a search crew pulled Kemah Police Chief Chris Reed’s body from the water of the Houston Ship Channel on Sunday morning, ending a 40-hour search.

The 50-year-old police chief, who doubled as an MMA referee, had been missing since 4 p.m. Friday, when authorities say he was thrown overboard without a life jacket when a wave from a large passing vessel struck his boat. Reed’s wife remained on the boat and was not injured.

The Coast Guard says more than a dozen local, state and federal agencies scoured more than 650 square miles before a Galveston County boat crew found Reed’s body about 1½ miles (2.4 kilometers) north of the Texas City Dike just before 8 a.m.

Reed was a former MMA figher with a 5-2 professional record as a light heavyweight. His last fight was a knockout win on March 1, 2013 at Legacy FC 18, the same event where future UFC heavyweight title challenger Derrick Lewis defended his Legacy FC belt.

Chris Reed (center) raises the hand of Chas Skelly at UFC Fight Night 104. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Six months after his final fight, Reed became a referee. He officiated nearly 200 bouts, including four in the UFC. Reed served as referee for three UFC Fight Night 104 bouts in February 2017. He also refereed Frankie Edgar’s TKO win over Yair Rodriguez at UFC 211 in May 2017.

Reed most recently refereed six fights last month at Fury FC 32 in Humble, Texas.

“Number one, he’s just a great cop, just to start off with. He’s been in this county a long time, working for several different agencies,” Texas City Police Chief Joe Stanton said before the body was located, according to CNN. “We’re a tight-knit group. He’s one of ours. And, we’re out there, and we’re gonna find him.”

In addition to his career as a police officer and serving as a referee, Reed was a retired Army paratrooper and was on the Clear Creek Independent School District board.

MMA Junkie’s Nolan King and the Associated Press contributed to this report.