RED LAKE, Minn. - The bodies of two fishermen who went missing on Lower Red Lake in November have been recovered, according to authorities and family members.
A news release posted to the Red Lake Police Department’s Facebook Page said that Red Lake conservation officers and a tribal council representative found one of the fishermen -- a 17-year-old boy -- at about 2:15 p.m. Wednesday. The boy, whose name has not been released by law enforcement, was found in shallow water near an area of Lower Red Lake called “second bridge.”
The same group of searchers found the second fisherman -- 29-year-old Deland Beaulieu -- at about 8 a.m. Thursday, about 150 feet away from where they found the boy. Both bodies were found using a remote-operated underwater vehicle equipped with a camera and sonar.
Both bodies were taken to the Indian Health Services hospital in Red Lake. The news release said autopsies would be scheduled, but did not say where.
Deland Beaulieu’s mother Rita Beaulieu also confirmed with the Pioneer via Facebook Messenger Thursday morning that her son and the 17-year-old had been found.
Beaulieu said she heard the news from Red Lake Department of Public Safety Director Bill Brunelle, who was not available for comment Thursday morning. Beaulieu said at about 9:30 a.m. that family members were at Lower Red Lake.
Beaulieu and the 17-year-old disappeared the afternoon of Monday, Nov. 6, when their Red Lake Fisheries boat capsized on Lower Red Lake. A third man on the boat, 32-year-old Dominick Johnson, was able to swim to shore and survived.
During the four-month search Red Lake officials enlisted the help of multiple other agencies including the Stutsman County (N.D.) Sheriff’s Office, St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office, Leech Lake Tribal Police Department, U.S. Border Patrol, FBI, Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office, Bemidji Fire Department and Leech Lake Conservation Enforcement Department.
On Nov. 30, search teams using remote-operated underwater vehicles found footprints and a shoe they believe belonged to one of the fishermen.
In early January, the Red Lake Tribal Council decided to allow band members to fish on Lower Red Lake again.
In the release, law enforcement said that the assisting agencies and their equipment helped eliminate hundreds of acres of the lake, “ultimately leading to Red Lake searching new areas and discovering the bodies.”