Body recovered from Lake Monona - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Body recovered from Lake Monona identified as Charles Geurts


MADISON (WKOW) -- Authorities identified a body found in Lake Monona Wednesday as a missing Kaukauna man, and credited police dogs and a citizen with helping to pinpoint the body's location in the vast lake.

Officials say the man is identified as 26-year old Charles "Charlie" Geurts.

Geurts disappeared in the early morning hours of Jan. 16 after socializing with other attendees of an agribusiness trade show at the Alliant Energy Center.

During a Madison news conference Thursday, Madison Police captain Joe Balles said Geurts was captured on a surveillance camera leaving his hotel near the lake, and investigators believe he was the intoxicated man reported as a possible prowler by a homeowner on Waunona Way on the lake's shore the same morning.

Authorities say specially-trained police dogs tracked Geurts' scent from his baseball cap and underwear to points along Lake Monona's shore. Officials say one cadaver dog was ultimately able to pinpoint the scent to a point approximately one-half mile from shore on the lake, when its water was still frozen. Officials say holes in the ice were drilled and underwater cameras deployed, but no sign of the body was found.

Rick Krueger of Madison regularly scavenges area lakes for wrecks and historical items, and says he collected the coordinates of the dog's discovery from law enforcement officials, and took his boat to the location of the lake Tuesday.

Krueger tells 27 News he used side-sonar equipment and an underwater camera, and despite poor water visibility, was able to identify an object and a man's boots on the lake bottom in approximately thirty-three feet of water Tuesday. Members of the Dane County Sheriff's dive team recovered Geurts' body Wednesday. 

Krueger and officials involved in the initial search, and then recovery of Geurts' body say they appreciate their efforts were able to help bring closure to Geurts' family and loved ones.


MADISON (WKOW) -- The Dane County Medical Examiner's Office has released the name of the man whose body was recovered from Lake Monona Wednesday morning.

The man is identified as 26-year-old Charles Geurts, of Kaukauna.

A forensic autopsy was completed Wednesday and preliminary results are pending additional study.  There was nothing, however, discovered during the examination that would suggest criminal activity.  Further testing is underway.    

This case remains under investigation by the City of Madison Police and the Dane County Medical Examiner's Office.

Geurts was in town with co-workers for the WABA Convention and Trade Show at the Alliant Energy Center.  He had last been seen leaving the Sheraton Hotel early in the morning January 16, leaving behind his cell phone and his truck in the parking lot. 

Madison police will hold a press conference at 10:30 Thursday morning.


MADISON (WKOW) -- The Dane County Sheriff's Office recovered a body of an adult male in Lake Monona.

The body was found Wednesday morning about 10:30 a.m. about 1/4 mile from Olin Park. On Tuesday, Rick Krueger, a Madison diver was operating his scan sonar on Lake Monona when he found what he believed to be a body in about 33 feet of water.

Krueger immediately called authorities and early Wednesday morning the dive team started the recovery operation.

The Dane County Sheriff's Office is not releasing the identity of the individual.

There will be a new conference on Thursday by the Madison Police Department to provide more information on the case.

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