A seasoned visitor to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, missing for days, has been found dead in a lake, authorities said.
The body of Michael Raymond Hickey, 59, of Duluth, was discovered by searchers late Wednesday afternoon, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.
His body, in roughly 80 feet of water, was detected using sonar technology provided by search and rescue personnel with neighboring St. Louis County.
The Sheriff’s Office said it was alerted midafternoon Monday to the disappearance of Hickey, who was believed to be in a canoe on Pine Lake off the Arrowhead Trail.
Later Monday, searchers found a partly submerged canoe registered to Hickey, as well as paddles and personal items. His truck was located at the McFarland Lake boat landing, near Pine Lake.
Sheriff Pat Eliasen described Hickey as “a longtime user of the area who has been fishing Pine Lake for many years.” The sheriff said Hickey left for Pine Lake on Friday and was supposed to return Sunday.
“This is a difficult day for all involved,” Eliasen said Wednesday. “We always hope for the best, that we’ll locate a missing person alive.”
Pine Lake, north of Hovland in the far northeastern tip of Minnesota, has more than 18 miles of shoreline, a maximum depth of 113 feet and covers 2,122 acres.
“Given the expansive remote search area, which is difficult to access,” the sheriff said, “I commend the efforts of all of the responders involved for their unwavering dedication to this search.”
A specific cause of death awaits determination following an autopsy, Eliasen said.