2 victims in canoeing incident identified; third body recovered

Two Victims Identified In Deadly Wisconsin Canoeing Accident

WALWORTH COUNTY (WITI) -- Officials have identified the two people recovered from the icy waters of Mill Lake in the Town of East Troy in Walworth County.

The bodies of 20-year-old Lanny Sack and 21-year-old Christopher McQuillan were recovered from the lake in the Town of East Troy on Sunday afternoon, January 3rd.

Around 3:30 p.m. Monday, FOX6 News learned a third body has been recovered. That body was recovered around 2:30 p.m. Identification is pending the Walworth County Medical Examiner's notification process.

"The three that have been recovered so far were in fairly close proximity. Any resources that we need I am pulling in so that we can bring this to a conclusion as soon as possible," Kurt Picknell, Walworth County sheriff said.

See photos from the scene at Mill Lake:

2 men dead, 2 missing after Wisconsin canoe accident
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2 victims in canoeing incident identified; third body recovered
Divers to search for bodies of 2 Illinois men on Wisconsin lake https://t.co/w5aCmsYU6f https://t.co/jeKLgRXAGC
2 men dead, 2 others missing after canoe accident on Wisconsin lake https://t.co/TgjipFhnl6
Friends took a canoe out on a frigid Wisconsin night. 2 have been found dead, and search is on for 2 others: https://t.co/jSqPSXK8y8
SageLinQ #USNews Two men dead, 2 #others missing after #Wisconsin canoe accident https://t.co/qCoPmTHgXm https://t.co/JBKRJQFOt9
Search continues for 2 bodies, after 2 others are found on Lake Beulah. Why it went from a rescue mission to a recovery so quickly on @tmj4

All four victims in this case are from Illinois. FOX6 News is told they were part of a group of about a dozen people staying at a house on Mill Lake.

DNR officials believed they located the other two bodies via sonar equipment Sunday. But darkness and freezing temperatures made it difficult for crews to continue their efforts on Sunday night. The search was called off around 7:00 p.m. Sunday.

The search efforts resumed on Monday -- by air and by water.

"You're searching an area of highest probability until you`re eliminating those areas and then you`re moving," an official said.

Throughout the day on Monday, dive teams rotated on and off the lake because of the near-freezing water.

"Water temperature is around 34 degrees. We`re on the verge of making ice around here," Jason Roberts with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said.

Officials said shortly after 5:00 p.m. search crews would be leaving the water for the night because of darkness and cold temperatures.

The search will resume at 7:00 a.m. Tuesday for the fourth body.

We're told this all began when four people went out on Mill Lake in a canoe between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m. Sunday.

Later on Sunday morning, friends noticed they hadn't come back -- and a search began.

"They found a canoe overturned a close distance from the house," Town of East Troy Police Chief James Surges said.

At some point after 2:00 a.m. Sunday, the four men left the home, and took a canoe from the boat launch.

"They weren`t dressed like they were going for a paddle. They looked like they were dressed in casual type clothes," Roberts said.

Officials say alcohol may have been a factor in this incident.

"There were no PFDs or life jackets found, either floating in the water, on the victims that were recovered, or in the boat itself that was brought to shore," Roberts said.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will be handling this investigation.

"I'm very sad to see this happen," Helen Newman said.

Police say a drowning incident occurred on this particular body of water this past summer.

They warn anyone thinking of going near the water right now to be sure to have specialized equipment and clothing, and of course, it is important that you do not mix alcohol with these dangerous conditions.

This investigation was occurring near Marsh Road and Highway J -- in the Town of East Troy.

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