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2 bodies found, 2 men missing in Wisconsin canoe accident

EAST TROY, Wis. » Two bodies were pulled from a frigid Wisconsin lake and two other men were missing after the four friends left a house early Sunday morning and apparently took a canoe out on the lake but never returned, a state investigative spokesman said.

Jason Roberts, spokesman for investigation of the incident by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, said the four men were all from Illinois and ages 20 to 23. Their names were not immediately released.

They had gone to visit a friend whose parents have a house on Lake Beulah, about 35 miles southeast of Milwaukee. The four men left the house early Sunday morning and told friends they were going for a smoke but never returned. In the morning, their friends discovered that they were not in the house and found tracks to the boathouse. A 14-foot, 3-person canoe was missing.

“From across the bay they could see an overturned canoe,” Roberts said. Everyone had been drinking at the house and there was no evidence the young men took life jackets with them on the canoe, he said. Searchers eventually found two bodies in an area of the lake where the overturned canoe was found and there were signs of broken ice.

The search was suspended for the night and will resume on Monday, Roberts said. Earlier, East Troy Police Chief Jim Surges had told WITI-TV that all four bodies had been recovered but Roberts said that was not the case.

“At this time there is no reason to believe foul play was involved,” Roberts said.

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