Missing boater found dead in Crow Wing County lake

A search for a missing boater ended Tuesday morning after divers found a Deerwood man in a Crow Wing County lake.

According to the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office, just after 6 p.m. Monday, deputies responded to a report of an unoccupied boat drifting about 75 feet away from the Little Rabbit Lake boat access near the town of Riverton. The caller also reported seeing a pair of shoes and socks on the dock.

Deputies recovered the empty boat but were unable to find anyone after searched the surrounding area. A vehicle and trailer that were registered to the same person who owned the boat were found at the boat launch, the sheriff’s office said. Deputies tried getting in contact with the owner but were unsuccessful.

A more extensive search for the missing boater was pushed back to the morning because it was getting dark. Around 9:15 a.m. Tuesday, divers recovered a body in about 17 feet of water, 15 feet off the end of the dock at the boat launch.

The victim was identified as 69-year-old William Elliott. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office will determine the cause of his death following an autopsy report.