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Body of father missing two months recovered from Black Lake

The Hogansburg-Akwesasne Volunteer Fire Department’s air boat travels over broken ice Jan. 19 en route to incident command on the shore Black Lake. The body of David R. Redmond Jr. was found Friday. (Provided photo — Christopher Lenney, Watertown Daily Times)

BLACK LAKE — The body of a St. Lawrence County man was recovered Friday, two months after he was last seen snowmobiling with his daughter near Black Lake.

The multi-agency search for David R. Redmond Jr., 37, and Larissa Redmond, 13, began Jan. 18, after the Ogdensburg pair was reported missing that weekend. Miss Redmond’s body was recovered from the water on Jan. 19.

County Undersheriff Sean P. O’Brien said Mr. Redmond was recovered roughly 3 miles downstream of the January search area, as ice has thawed and the lake’s current has drawn water north toward the Oswegatchie River. Two off-duty state police officers, according to the sheriff’s office, found Mr. Redmond, who was taken to Canton-Potsdam Hospital where an autopsy is scheduled.

During the initial search, O’Brien said no foul play was indicated.

“There’s nothing at this point that would change our decision on that,” he said Friday afternoon.

The snowmobile has yet to be found.

At the outset, O’Brien described the search as “a recovery effort,” responders believing the Redmonds fell through the lake’s ice during a Jan. 15 snowmobiling trip.

The recovery team — comprised of divers from the state police Underwater Recovery Team, forest rangers from the state Department of Environmental Conservation and marine personnel from the Hogansburg and Akwesasne Volunteer Fire Department — suspended the search for Mr. Redmond due to icy conditions.

The team settled on a search area along the northwestern side of the lake after snowmobile tracks were found leading from the road into the water. Responders inferred the pair — on one snowmobile — may have attempted to ride onto the lake’s surface and fell through.

Black Lake’s usual murk, with several feet of weedy growth from the lake floor, was exacerbated by freezing temperatures and sheets of ice extending from the shoreline. The water’s depth in the search area, O’Brien said in January, was about 6 to 8 feet deep. The sheriff’s office, with state, local and tribal partners, set up an incident command center on shore between Stone Church and Lost Village roads in the town of Oswegatchie.

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