Body of missing man found in Ridgefield lake

RIDGEFIELD - The body of a man who fell into Ridgefield's Pierrepont Lake was recovered Tuesday.

Crews and rescue dogs spent Monday and part of Tuesday searching for the man, who witnesses said fell out of a kayak. Police have only identified the victim as a 54-year-old man who used to live in Ridgefield. They have not released his name.

The man was last seen kayaking in the area of Barlow Mountain Road and Lookout Point.

Ridgefield Fire Chief Heather Burford said the 25-hour search was full of challenges, namely visibility. Burford had been told that the lake used to be an apple orchard, so the bottom is filled with stumps. It is also a shallow, warm lake, meaning there is a large amount of weed growth.

Burford described the search as "very tedious?very hand over hand, feeling for things." She said visibility was practically non-existent, which forced divers to literally feel around for the missing man. Burford said the man was not wearing a life jacket when rescuers found him. The kayak was quickly recovered. Authorities also found oars, and one flip-flop was found inside the boat when it was brought to shore.

The fire department said the man does not have family in the area. Officials don't know where he was currently living. Officers said his car, which was found parked at the boat ramp, helped identify him.

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