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Officials: Body found, cause of death not confirmed

Submitted by admin on August 31, 2010 – 12:06 pmNo Comment

Midday Update

By News Director Leslie Stratmoen

SHOSHONI, Wyo. – Authorities have not yet said what killed the Washington man who was found last night at the bottom of Fremont Bay in Boysen Reservoir. 33-year-old James Rasmussen had been missing since Sunday afternoon after not resurfacing from a jump off a cliff. A preliminary report is expected to be made tomorrow afternoon after results from a forensic autopsy come in. That’s being done at the McKee Medical Center in Loveland, Colo.

Emergency rescue and recovery crews found the body about 15 feet down in the water near where friends had seen him briefly surface, then struggle, and go down. The body was located by an underwater robot search device that has a camera. The robot was brought in by a search and rescue team from Sweet Water County that was asked to help out. They arrived about noon yesterday. Fremont County Coroner Ed McAuslan provided the update.

Once the body was found, the coroner said the robot was tied off to a boat directly above and two divers went down while another stayed with the boat. The coroner said visibility underwater was only about a foot and the surface had to be lit by artificial light. He said the divers brought the body to the surface by using a restraining device and was taken by boat to a shoreline area.

The coroner said the operation went smoothly because of everyone who helped out, including the many volunteers. Night diving is not recommended, he said, but the divers were willing to stay and work into the early morning hours. Crews started returning home around 2 this morning. He said missions like this are only possible because of the volunteer rescue and fire-fighting teams who are willing to do the work and their employers who are willing to give them the time off.

Aug. 31 – 8 a.m.

By News Director Leslie Stratmoen

SHOSHONI, Wyo. – The body of 33-year-old James Rasmussen of Washington has been found in Boysen Reservoir. Emergency rescue and recovery crews found him last night just before dark about 15 feet down in Fremont Bay where he was last seen going in after jumping off a cliff.

Fremont County Coroner Ed McAuslan said the body was located by an underwater robot search device that has a camera. He said the robot was brought in by a search and rescue team from Sweet Water County that was asked to help out. They arrived about noon yesterday.

Once the body was found, the robot was tied off to a boat directly above and two divers went down while another stayed with the boat. The coroner said visibility underwater was only about 12 inches and the surface had to be lit by artificial light. The divers brought the body to the surface by using a restraining device. He was then taken by boat to a shoreline area and brought out for ground transport. A forensic autopsy is being scheduled for tomorrow.

The coroner said the operation went smoothly because of everyone who helped out, including the many volunteers. Night diving is not recommended, he said, but the divers were willing to stay and work into the early morning hours. Crews started returning home around 2 this morning. He said missions like this are only possible because of the volunteer rescue and fire-fighting teams who are willing to do the work and their employers who are willing to give them the time off.

The victim had been missing since Sunday afternoon. He was cliff diving in the area with a group of friends, who reported that he came up briefly following his jump, struggled a bit, then went down. That was the last time they saw him alive.

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