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May 25, 2014

Divers find body of man in Hillsdale Lake

Divers and recovery teams using side-scan sonar combed the murky waters of Hillsdale Lake on Sunday morning, trying to find a boater who vanished Saturday afternoon.

Divers and recovery teams using side-scan sonar recovered the body of a missing boater from the murky waters of Hillsdale Lake early Sunday evening.

Other than the recovery, Battalion Chief Rodger Larison of Johnson County Fire District No. 2 said he had little else he could report.

“We’ll be real busy for a while,” Larison said.

The boater vanished Saturday afternoon and search teams were back on the water of the popular Miami County lake at 6 a.m., Larison said. They had searched for the man, who was presumed drowned, until about 11:30 p.m. Saturday.

Authorities had five boats on the water Sunday. Divers from the Overland Park and Miami County dive rescue teams joined the search.

Two children were found alone on a motorboat wearing life jackets at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the lake south of the Hillsdale Point boat ramp. Their father had reportedly gone into the water to swim but never resurfaced.

Visibility in the lake is poor, Larison said earlier Sunday.

“It’s tough diving,” he added. “We consider it black water.” The sonar “has to be our eyes.”

The Hillsdale Point and Marysville boat ramps were closed to the public.

Officials did not release the name of the boater. Larison said family members had been at the scene of the search.

To reach Tim Engle, call 816-234-4779 or send email to tengle@kcstar.com.

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