Body found of teen missing in Portage's Silver Lake

 Searchers late Wednesday found the body of a 13-year-old boy who had been missing in Silver Lake in Portage, according to the Columbia County Sheriff.

For more go to WKOW:


UPDATE (WKOW) -- Search crews brought in a 360 degree sonar device from the Waukesha County DNR on Tuesday to assist with the search. Portage police say the device has successfully located bodies before. 

Officials say they have widened the search area to include the beach at Silver Lake. A witness said the boy went under water near the boat launch. Until today, the majority of their search had been concentrated on that area.

 Sauk County divers were also back in the water.

 Authorities met with city officials Tuesday afternoon to discuss the plans for Wednesday. 

"Maybe one last tactic yet today and from there we will continue to keep the beach closed and monitor the area on a routine basis until we locate him," said Portage Police Lt. Keith Klafke. The family will be involved in the decision regrading how search crews will proceed. 

Silver Lake Beach will be closed until the boy's body is located. 


UPDATE (WKOW) -- The Salvation Army of Dane County's Emergency Disaster Services response team is assisting in recovery efforts for the body of a 13-year old boy at Silver Lake in Portage. 

The Salvation Army is providing hydration and food services to the boy's family, EMTs, and first responders at the scene as the search heads into a third day, according to a news release. 

Lieutenant Keith Klafke said the teams are now discussing the options left and worst-case scenario type of plans, according to the Red Cross. 

"We are using all the resources available and it is helpful to have these teams on hand. Closing in on three days now, the other entities will help push the search into later today with more invasive search tactics." Klafke says the family has been an active player in the process and all parties are working hard to keep false information out of the media. 

"I can understand the frustration of not having your boy in your arms for three days, but through it all the family has exhibited the utmost cooperation and been extremely supportive of our efforts."


PORTAGE (WKOW) -- Search crews spent Monday looking for a 13 year old boy who went missing in Silver Lake in Portage Sunday night. 

The search began around 6 pm Sunday when the call for a missing juvenile at Silver Lake Beach came through. The search ended around 10:30 pm because of lightning in the area. 

The recovery effort continued early Monday morning.  The 13 year old boy was in a tube floating near a boat dock. He fell out of the tube and couldn't get back to it. His family told police he wasn't a strong swimmer.  

There are lifeguards at the beach area, but the area near the boat dock is considered swim at your own risk.  Columbia County Sheriff's Department, Sauk County Sheriff's Department, Portage Police Department and Portage Fire and Rescue all participated in the recovery effort. 

Columbia County and Sauk County provided divers who rotated throughout the day. 

They even brought in a submersible unit from the DNR that has sonar capabilities. The device could navigate more easily through the bottom of the lake that is covered in weeds than the divers could. 

Portage Police Lieutenant Keith Klafke emphasized that the recovery is an inter-agency effort.

"That's why we continually try to train more and more between those different departments and disciplines," said Klafke. "That goes for everything that we do. We can't do it alone. So we need that team work from all the different agencies."

Town officials including the Mayor and City Administrator met Monday afternoon with  officers to discuss what the best options are going forward. 

The family was involved in the meeting.

"Put yourself in their shoes for a minute," said Klafke. "They're holding it together. They've been very supportive of us and our actions and they're doing the best they can do right now. 

The family was at the lake all day watching the recovery efforts.

Officials decided to bring in a Dane County K-9 to help with the search effort. The dog went out on a boat to sniff for the boy's scent. Officials put down markers. 

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