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Rescue squad recovers body from Island Lake


The body of a 41-year-old Duluth man was recovered Friday afternoon from Island Lake after he apparently drowned, St. Louis County Undersheriff Dave Phillips said.

Initial investigation revealed that the man had been camping on a small island near the public boat launch on the north side of the lake since earlier this week, Phillips said after speaking with the man's family. The man, whose name was withheld Friday, was found fully clothed, including a windbreaker, indicating a fall off a boat or dock, Phillips said. Investigators and the county medical examiner said the man showed signs of being in the water for more than a day, Phillips said.

"There is no sign of foul play, no indication of wrongdoing," Phillips said. "It appears it was a drowning."

A homeowner on the northern shore of Island Lake called authorities about 2:40 p.m. Friday after seeing the body about 300 feet offshore, Phillips said. Gnesen Township First Responders and the St. Louis County Sheriff's Rescue Squad responded to 4102 Andler Road, which is east of Rice Lake Road. When the rescue boat arrived about 3:30 p.m., the man was floating about 20 feet offshore.

An autopsy will be conducted today, Phillips said.

The Rescue Squad, which identified the man by a photo ID in one of his pockets, searched around the island the man was presumed to be camping on for an abandoned campsite or boat to learn more about the incident, Phillips said.

"It was a preliminary search to see if there was a boat or anything associated with him ending up in the water, but nothing was located," Phillips said.

Tips can be directed to the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office at (218) 727-8771.