2 bodies located in Fallen Leaf Lake; woman missing since 2001 among the recovered

Photo courtesy: Bruce's Legacy

Two bodies have been recovered from Fallen Leaf Lake, according to Sgt. Anthony Prencipe with the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office.

Bruce's Legacy, an underwater search and recovery team from Wisconsin, was assisting the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office with a deep water search for two missing people.

A 21-year-old male was reported missing in the summer of 1996 after drowning while boating on the lake. According to Sgt. Prencipe, the second person went missing in 2001 after a female was reported to have drowned.

On Aug. 29, 2017, Bruce's Legacy used a side scan sonar to locate several potential sites where the victims could be located. They then used an underway rover to visibly search each of those locations. During the search, they located the body of an adult female that was similar to that of the missing female from 2001. The body was recovered from the lake and sent to the Sacramento County Corner's Office for an autopsy and DNA samples were sent to the California Department of Justice Crime Lab for identification. There is no indication of foul play. Results from the DNA samples have not been received.

On Oct. 27, 2017, the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office & Bruce's Legacy returned back to Fallen Leaf Lake to search for the male that went missing in 1996. After several hours of searching, an adult male's body was located. The body had rope tied around the lower portion of the legs and a small anchor tied to the end of the rope.

When the male body was taken from the lake, it was soon evident that it did not match the physical description of the male that went missing more than 20 years ago. According to officials, the body appeared to have been in the lake for many years.

The male body was also sent to the Sacramento County Corner's Officer for a forensic autopsy. At this point, the cause and manner of death has not been determined. This is an ongoing investigation and it is not known if this is a case of homicide or suicide.

Bruce’s Legacy has continued their search for the 1996 missing male and as of this date he has not been located.

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