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Body found after search for man who went missing on Lac La Belle

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Posted at 5:12 AM, Jul 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-23 22:19:36-04

OCONOMOWOC — Update: On Saturday, July 23, teams returned to the scene for recovery efforts. At approximately 10:30am, the victim was located using sonar equipment in approximately 32 feet of water west of Blackhawk Drive.

The Waukesha County Medical Examiner's Office responded to the scene and the victim was pronounced dead.

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The Western Lakes Fire District, EMS, and Dive Teams resumed their search Friday morning for a missing swimmer on Lac La Belle.

Officials said they got a call around 7:18 p.m. Thursday for reports of a man swimming who had gone missing. The Western Lakes Fire District said the man was in the area northwest of Islandale and southwest of Buzzard Point on Lac La Belle.

Investigators said the man was in his mid-30's.

"We were at the food truck downtown and we heard rescue squads coming," said resident Andrew Eckelad.

Dive teams were issued to the scene, and the Waukesha Sheriff's Department, Wisconsin DNR, Chenequa Police, Mukwonago, Washington County, Dodge County, and Fort Atkinson all sent boats to the area to assist with the search.

First responders used sonar, divers, submersible drones, and area drones to search for the man but terminated the search around 11 p.m.

“We’re using various sonar techniques and we’ve got some equipment en-route from Green Bay," said Lt. Drew Starch, Wisconsin Dept. Of Natural Resources.

Officials now consider this to be a recovery effort, not a rescue, but they're hoping for the best.

“This is a tragic event for everybody and we just want to help bring them closure," Brad Bowen, Western Lakes Fire Chief.

A concert scheduled at the beach for Friday has been canceled, official said.

The Western Lakes Fire District provided an update Friday evening, stating the lake and boat launch will remain closed as operations continue. Additional agencies have been requested to help this weekend. Operations will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday.

Officials are asking for space and support to help the family and community.

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