A body recovered near a lake south of downtown Bemidji has been identified as a man who hadn’t been seen since shortly after a birthday celebration last fall.

The identification of Matthew Charles Pulis was made by the Ramsey County medical examiner’s office. The cause of death was drowning, Bemidji police said Friday night.

Police and State Patrol personnel detected the body about 2 p.m. Thursday about 100 yards from the northwest shore of Lake Irving, said Police Chief Mike Mastin.

Pulis, whose 32nd birthday was on March 21, was last seen outside Toastie’s bar in downtown Bemidji in the early-morning hours of Oct. 20, according to the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office.

A Facebook page set up by the family said that Pulis was at the Hard Times bar earlier that night celebrating a co-worker’s birthday with several people. Pulis worked at the McDonald’s on the west side of Bemidji.

The investigation is continuing. Anyone with information about Pulis’ disappearance is urged to call Bemidji police at 1-218-333-9111.