Sheriff Announces Recovery of 2 Bodies from Fallen Leaf Lake

by Placerville Newswire / Nov 15, 2017 / comments

[EDSO Sergeant Anthony Prencipe]

Bruce's Legacy, an underwater search and recovery team from Wisconsin, came to Fallen Leaf Lake to assist The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office with a deep water search for two missing people.

The first went missing in the summer of 1996.  A 21 year old male was reported to have drowned in Fallen Leaf Lake while boating, his body was never recovered.  The second went missing in 2001.  A female was reported to have drowned in the lake and her body was also never recovered.

On August 29, 2017, Bruce’s Legacy used a Side Scan Sonar to locate several potential sites where the drowning victims could be located.  They then used an underwater rover to visibly search each of those locations.   During the search, they located the body of an adult female that was similar to that of the missing female from 2001.  The body was recovered from the lake and sent to the Sacramento County Coroner for an Autopsy.  DNA samples were sent to The California Department of Justice Crime Lab for identification.  There was no indication of foul play. We have not received the results of the DNA testing.

On October 27, 2017, El Dorado County Sheriff’s Detectives and Bruce's Legacy returned to Fallen Leaf Lake to search for the male that went missing in 1996.  After several hours of searching, an adult male’s body was located.  The body had a rope tied around the lower portion of the legs.  A small anchor was tied to the end of the rope.

When the male body was taken from the lake, it was soon evident that it did not match the physical description of the male that went missing in 1996.  The body looked to have been in the lake for many years.  It was apparent that we had located a body that we had not known of, prior to his recovery.

The body was sent to the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office for a Forensic Autopsy.  DNA samples were sent to The California Department of Justice Crime Lab for possible identification.  At this point, the cause and manner of death has not been determined.  This is an ongoing investigation and it is not known if this is a case of homicide or suicide.

Bruce’s Legacy has continued their search for the 1996 missing male and as of this date he has not been located.

These are ongoing investigations and it could take several months to determine the identities of the bodies that were recovered.