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Boater helps police find body in Lake Monona

Published On: Apr 18 2013 08:22:47 AM CDT
Updated On: Apr 18 2013 07:07:04 PM CDT

Rick Krueger used sonar technology to help locate the body of Charles Geurts.


A man's body recovered from Lake Monona Wednesday is that of a Kaukauna man reported missing in January.

The Dane County Medical Examiner said the man is identified as 26-year-old Charles Geurts. The medical examiner's office said more results from an autopsy are needed before determining the cause of death, but there is no evidence to suggest criminal activity.

Guerts went missing while staying at a hotel near Lake Monona on Jan. 26. He was in Madison with co-workers for a trade show at the Alliant Energy Center.

Madison police said K9s were able to pick up Geurts' scent off trees near the lake shortly after he went missing. A cadaver dog led police to an area on the ice where investigators drilled holes and used cameras to unsuccessfully search for Geurts' body.

"The dogs gave us the information that kept us looking," said Sgt. Chris Boyd with the Madison Police Department.  "We had contact with the family and people were very committed to helping solve this case and figure out what happened to give some resolve to the family."

A citizen spotted what he believed to be a body while using his personal side-scan sonar on Tuesday, according to the Dane County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said Rick Krueger was using his sonar on Lake Monona Tuesday when he discovered the possible body in about 33 feet of water. Krueger said he found the body on his first pass over the area, finding Geurts' body about 100 feet from the area the cadaver dog identified in January.

The Dane County Sheriff's Office Dive Team recovered the body Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. about a quarter mile from Olin Park.

"It makes you feel good to be able to help the family," said Krueger.  "Now they can proceed with the funeral and get closure."

This is Krueger's second time helping with closure.  In 2006, he found a car underwater with two men inside, solving a 45 year old cold case.  Police say in thousands of acres of lake, solving that case and this one is simply amazing.

"It's kind of like finding a needle in a haystack," said Capt. Joe Balles with the Madison Police Department.

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