HOPE – A search team using sonar equipment today found the body believed to be of the man who went missing in Lake Pend Oreille three weeks ago.
In a press release, the Bonner County Sheriff’s office said Jeremy Heckert, 38, of Sandpoint, reportedly jumped overboard from a fishing boat and disappeared on July 10 in a boating incident in the Hope area of the lake.
Extensive searches conducted since then to locate his body, utilizing side-scan sonar and personal watercraft shoreline checks as well as the sheriff’s office dive team, had failed to locate it.
On July 29 a new sonar team, Ralston and Associates from Kuna, Idaho arrived and began searching.
“This morning, July 30, 2015 the Ralston team, through the use of sonar, discovered what was believed to be Mr. Heckert,” according to the office press release. “At 11:30 a.m., with the use of an underwater remotely operated vehicle, Mr. Heckert was brought near the surface, where Bonner County sheriff’s divers recovered his body.
“Ralston’s specialized equipment and extensive experience, coupled with the new leads provided by the cadaver dogs, were highly instrumental in locating the missing person. Today’s find represents the 100th recovery for the Ralston team.”
In the previous weeks, the search effort had also brought in Kootenai County teams, who conducted an extensive two-day search with a towable sonar unit in the target area. Additionally, the services of shoreline and water cadaver dogs from Montana and Washington provided valuable new clues on Sunday, July 19.
The circumstances under which Heckert went overboard from his boat remain under investigation, according to reports.
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