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The man who drowned at Houghton’s Pond in Milton Thursday evening was identified as a 39-year-old father from Quincy.

State Police spokesman David Procopio said the man, whose name has not been released, was at the pond with his son and had gone into the water to retrieve a soccer ball. As he tried to get the ball he ventured past the buoy rope and went underwater, Procopio said.

“Witnesses called 911 when he did not resurface,” Procopio said in an e-mail.

Members of the Massachusetts State Police Underwater Recovery Unit and the Boston Fire Department dive team searched different areas of the pond for the man, who was last seen alive at around 6:30 p.m., according to Procopio. His body was recovered just before 8 p.m. by divers from the Boston Fire Department.

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The Boston Fire Department tweeted that personnel from the Milton Fire Department and the Boston Parks and Recreation Department were at the scene. The post included photos of divers with oxygen tanks and small boats going into the water of the pond. Police and firefighters from Milton and Canton also responded, according to Procopio.

Investigators from State Police Troop H and the State Police Detective Unit attached to the Norfolk district attorney’s office determined that the reason the man had entered the pond was to retrieve the soccer ball, according to Procopio.

Houghton’s Pond is located in the Blue Hills Reservation area. The 24-acre pond is used for swimming and fishing and there are trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. According to the state Department of Conservation and Recreation’s website, lifeguards are posted at the pond’s beach in July and August.


Emily Sweeney can be reached at emily.sweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.