A man who had been missing since Nov. 26, 2016, was discovered on Dec. 20, 2016, by an ice fisherman using an underwater camera to film fish under the ice.

Lt. Patrick Barry from the Carver County Sheriff’s Office said the body of Andrew John Stifter, 35, was found at the bottom of Lake Waconia. Stifter, who was a resident of Waconia, Minnesota, had been reported missing since November 26 when he went paddle boarding to take pictures of wildlife on the lake.

Barry said the ice fisherman contacted police as soon as he discovered the body, and the Carver County sheriff’s dive team then went to recover it from the icy water. The search for Stifter was extensive while Lake Waconia had open water in late-November and early December, but the search slowed while ice formed on the lake. The ice fisherman who found the body was one of the first anglers to walk onto the newly frozen 3,080-acre lake, and he discovered the body near the area that had been repeatedly searched.

While certainly tragic, finding the body brought closure to the family; Stifter was married with two young kids. He and his wife were also expecting a third child this spring. Stifter was not wearing a life jacket; foul play is not suspected.

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