Body found on Lake Superior shore identified as missing kayakerThe body of a missing kayaker washed up Thursday afternoon on the shore of Lake Superior just north of Two Harbors in the Flood Bay area.
By: By Mike Creger, Lake County News Chronicle , Superior Telegram
The body of a missing kayaker washed up Thursday afternoon on the shore of Lake Superior just north of Two Harbors in the Flood Bay area.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Department received a call about 3 p.m. Thursday from construction workers in the area who reported that a body had washed ashore. The body was taken to the St. Louis County medical examiner to confirm its identity and determine the cause of death.
Lake County Sheriff Carey Johnson said Friday the medical examiner confirmed the body was that of Douglas R. Winter, the missing kayaker. The medical examiner had not yet indicated the cause of death.
Authorities had been searching for Winter, a 48-year-old former Milwaukee Public Schools teacher, since his kayak washed ashore Oct. 20 in the Split Rock Creek area.
Johnson said he hadn’t expected to find him after such a long time. “Superior isn’t like inland lakes,” he said. “It’s cold, and usually a body stays down.”
Winter was last heard from about 8:40 p.m. Oct. 19 when he called a friend to tell her that he was on Lake Superior two to three miles from shore, could not see land, and the waves were getting fairly large, the sheriff’s department said. Winter was an experienced kayaker, family and friends said.
Johnson said Winter’s body was found roughly where it would be expected given the wave patterns on the lake the past few weeks. Flood Bay is about 20 miles southwest of Beaver Bay, where Winter was staying at a resort and where he likely put in with his kayak. Items linked to Winter — his kayak, a life jacket and a paddle — were all found in the Split Rock Creek area, about six miles southwest of Beaver Bay, in the first few days after his disappearance.
An initial intensive search of the lake and shore areas turned up no clues. His car was found unlocked in the parking lot at Cove Point Lodge with the keys in it along with a checkbook and clothing bag.
Search and rescue teams continued to patrol the shoreline six days after the disappearance but had to rely on hikers along the shore finding items washed up. The case remained active the past three weeks with no clues coming in the past two weeks until the find Thursday.
News Tribune staff writers Peter Passi and Jimmy Bellamy contributed to this report