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Body of fisherman found

Published July 31. 2013 05:03PM

The body of a boater who went missing on Beltzville State Park Lake early last week has been found.

Mark Nalesnik, Carbon County Emergency Management Agency coordinator, explained the body, identified as Dean Christman, 57, of Towamensing Township, was discovered by search crews and brought to shore around 4 p.m., Tuesday, nine days after Christman went missing.

Kevin Koflanovich, Beltzville State Park manager, noted that the body was located east of the Pine Run boat launch in about 90 feet of water.

"It was a difficult search," Koflanovich said. "It is a big lake that runs deep. We're just grateful we were able to recover Dean for his family."

He added that numerous state agencies, including DCNR, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, state police and the Carbon County EMA; as well as countless numbers of volunteers, local agencies, emergency personnel, dive teams, food services and more pitched in to help find Christman.

"On behalf of the agencies running the search, we would like to extend our extreme thanks to all the volunteers and groups for their efforts," Koflanovich said. "When I spoke to the family they were very grateful."

He also extended his appreciation to the general public "for being so understanding while the search was under way."

Contacted via Facebook, Dave Christman, Dean's son, also spoke out about the efforts to find his father.

"Our family is very relieved he was found," Dave wrote. "It was a tough nine days.

"There was so many caring people that tried to help however they could. We are extremely grateful to the Beltzville State Park, state police, Trachsville Fire Company, and the many search and rescue and diving teams that came and searched for him."

The boat launches, which were closed to the public on July 26 so search operations could continue without other boaters on the water, are now reopen.

An autopsy is scheduled for today at Lehigh Valley Hospital to determine the cause of death.

Christman went missing around 6 a.m., Monday, July 22, as he was fishing on the lake.

His boat was observed by two fisherman operating without a driver.

Since then, volunteers, local and state agencies have been at Beltzville Lake, combing the waters from morning until evening with sonar, dive teams and cadaver dogs.

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