BREAKING NEWS: Coroner identifies body found in lake as missing Trail resident

Trail Champion
By Trail Champion
July 12th, 2013

The BC Coroners Service has confirmed the identity of a man whose body was recovered from Little Wilson Lake near New Denver on July 9.


He is Michael Lorne Guthrie, aged 32, from Trail.


Guthrie had been camping with friends at Little Wilson Lake, a remote area about 38 kilometres north of New Denver. On the morning of May 25, he and a friend went fishing from a canoe on the lake.The canoe tipped over, and Guthrie was unable to reach shore.


A search immediately afterwards could not locate him. He was located by other campers at the lake on July 9 and a positive identification confirmed. The BC Coroners Service and RCMP continue to investigate this death. The family of Mr. Guthrie has been notified of his death.


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On July 9 at approximately 3:00 p.m., the Slocan Lake RCMP received a call that three males who were camping in the area had found a body floating face down in Little Wilson Lake, according to RCMP Sgt. Darryl Little.


“One male drove towards New Denver to obtain cell coverage and called police. The other two, using a boat, were able to reach the body, secure it with a rope and bring it to shore.


“The body is that of a male, however, police cannot confirm at this time it is that of Michael Guthrie until a positive identification has been completed. The body was transported to Vernon where an autopsy is scheduled for today.


“The family of Mr Guthrie has been notified of the recovery. The initial examination of the body did not reveal any evidence of foul play. The BC Coroners service is assuming control of the investigation from this point forward.


“Despite ongoing search efforts, police have still  been unable to locate the body of 32-year-old Michael Guthrie, whom they presume to have drowned,” Little said.


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“On Sunday, June 2 and Monday, June 3, the RCMP Underwater Recovery Team conducted a search of Little Wilson Lake utilizing sonar equipment,” Little said. “Unfortunately the body of Mr. Guthrie was not located during the operation. On Tuesday, June 4 members of the Slocan Lake and Nelson Search And Rescue Swift Water Rescue Team searched a series of log jams at a point where the lake drains into a creek, however, this too proved negative.


“There are plans to conduct an aerial search of the lake at some point today. However, if this proves negative the RCMP will be suspending the search unless additional information arises at which time it will be re-instituted.


“The RCMP and SAR will continue to monitor water levels in the lake over the coming weeks in order to re-assess further search efforts.


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A sonar search for Michael Guthrie, 32-year-old Trail man who is presumed drowned, was unsuccessful yesterday, according to RCMP Sgt. Darryl Little.


“The search for Mr. Guthrie, who is presumed drowned in Little Wilson Lake will continue today, June 3,” he said. “The RCMP Underwater Recovery Team was deployed their “side-scan” sonar on Sunday, however, were unable to locate Mr. Guthrie. The “side-scan” sonar is towed below the boat and projects a computer image of the lake bottom back to a monitor inside the boat.


“Approximately one third of the lake has been searched to date, using the sonar. It may take two more days to complete the search of the entire lake.


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The search for Michael Guthrie is set to resume on June 2 on Little Wilson Lake, according to RCMP Sgt. Darryl Little.


“The RCMP Underwater Recovery Team from throughout the province are set to arrive in Nakusp on Saturday,” he said. “On Sunday, they plan to use sonar to scour the bottom of the lake in the hopes of finding Mr. Guthrie. The paddles the pair were using to propel the canoe were found floating in the lake on Wednesday, however, no other items have been recovered to date.”


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The search for 32-year-old Michael Lorne Guthrie, the Trail resident reported missing and presumed drowned at Little Wilson Lake, was suspended last evening May 27, according to RCMP Sgt. Darryl Little.


“The RCMP underwater recovery team, RCMP helicopter and local Search and Rescue were unable to locate the missing man. The underwater recovery team concentrated on the last known location where Mr. Guthrie was seen when the canoe he was in capsized,” Little added. “Search and Rescue, along with the helicopter, conducted a thorough search of the shoreline, with no success. The RCMP are in the process of arranging to have sonar equipment brought to the scene for use by the divers. It is hopefull the search will resume in the next day or two. Monitoring of the shoreline will continue while they await arrival of the equipment.”


“Little Wilson is a hi-altitude lake and described as approximately 63 acres in size with an average depth of 39 feet, however, there are spots over 80 feet in depth. Due to it being located in the high-alpine, it is very cold this time of year.”

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Police are searching Little Wilson Lake for a Trail man they presume has drowned, according to Nakusp RCMP Cpl. R. Fehler.


“On the evening of May 25, Slocan Lake RCMP received a third-party report of a possible drowning at Little Wilson Lake near Roseberry,” Fehler said in a press release this morning. “Police attended and spoke with two men from Trail who had been camping with a third male from the Trail area.


“It was determined that the presumed drowning victim had been fishing with one of the males in a canoe on Little Wilson Lake. The canoe capsized and both men entered the water; one was able to swim to shore the other is presumed drowned.


“Neither were wearing a personal floatation device (PFD) at the time, nor was there a PFD or safety equipment in the canoe. Alcohol is also believed to have been a factor in this incident.


“Search and Rescue, along with RCMP personnel, have been utilized in the initial and subsequent search. The RCMP Underwater Recovery Team, and RCMP Air Services are currently continuing efforts to locate the missing person. Identification of the missing Trail resident is being withheld at this time as the person has yet to be located.”


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