Authorities trying to determine if drowning victim had permission to be at private Fairfield lake
Authorities are continuing to investigate the drowning of a Bridgeport man at a private Fairfield lake over the weekend.
Peace and quiet have returned to Tahmore Drive and Lake Hills Beach 1 behind it. The sounds of nature are no longer silenced by sirens like those on Sunday morning when a mass response came after a 911 call for help around 8:40 a.m.
"There was a swimmer that went off the dock and did not come back up after he went under," said Lt. Bob Smith of the Fairfield Fire Department.
"The fire trucks drove up and then the ambulances and right in my driveway and they blocked off the street. I still didn't know what was going on except I saw divers," said Elizabeth Thomas. "There must've been at least 100 people standing looking at the lake."
Divers from Fairfield Fire, Fairfield police, and Bridgeport police searched Samp Mortar Lake for a few hours before they found the missing swimmer, who was pronounced dead.
"Unfortunately, this victim was found about 50 feet offshore in about 5 and a half feet of water. You don't have to be in very deep water to have some type of incident where you can drown," Smith said.
Karlis Eltermanis, of Bridgeport, was 35 years old. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner tells News 12 Connecticut that his cause of death is pending toxicology reports.
Police say Eltermanis was with three friends at the time, none of whom are from the Lake Hills community.
The lake is private property. Members are allowed to have guests, but police are still trying to figure out if Eltermanis and his friends had permission to be there.
News 12 Connecticut reached out to the Lake Hills Association's president but did not hear back.