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Missing New Berlin man found dead in Wisconsin River

Posted at 8:59 PM, Jan 03, 2023

WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. — The body of a missing New Berlin man was found in the Wisconsin River in Wisconsin Dells Tuesday morning, police say.

According to the Wisconsin Dells Police Department, police received a check welfare request for Matthew Haas, 37, of New Berlin around 4 p.m. on Sunday. Haas was not heard of or seen since leaving the downtown area of Wisconsin Dells around midnight on Jan. 1.

Using Haas' cell phone information, police say an area was established where his phone had last pinged. Officers then began searches of that area in the evening hours.

On the morning of Jan. 2, police continued coordinated searches in the area using foot searches, a police K9, and drone searches. It was a wooded area along the Wisconsin River which has steep cliffs and ravines. Police say due to the difficult and dangerous terrain, search operations were suspended during the dark.

Searches were resumed Tuesday morning with the help of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Sauk County Sheriff's Department, and the Kilbourn Fire Department.

Around 10:20 a.m. Tuesday, police found Haas in the Wisconsin River in the vicinity of the focused search area. An autopsy is scheduled for this week.

Police say foul play is not suspected.

The Wisconsin Dells Police Department stresses that though Haas has been found, it still remains an active investigation.

"We are still following up on information and leads that we have received," the police department shared. "This is the tragic outcome that we had not hoped for. We at the Wisconsin Dells Police Department send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Matthew, and we respectfully request that you honor their privacy in these tough times."

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