New Fairfield man found dead in Ridgefield lake after difficult search

Authorities began searching Monday afternoon for a New Fairfield man at Lake Naraneka in Pierrepont State Park. After a nearly 80-hour search, police have identified the victim as 31-year-old Cody Rugar.

Mark Sudol

Aug 18, 2023, 1:29 PM

Updated 339 days ago

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A missing New Fairfield man has been found dead in a Ridgefield lake after a three-day search.
Police are releasing new details.
"Somebody in Ridgefield called to report something floating in the water," said Westport Police Lt. Eric Woods.
Authorities began searching Monday afternoon for a New Fairfield man at Lake Naraneka in Pierrepont State Park. After a nearly 80-hour search, police have identified the victim as 31-year-old Cody Rugar.
"He had been tangled in a lot of ground vegetation that was making the search for the party difficult," said Woods.
Ridgefield police say almost 20 different departments and organizations were involved in the search.
They say the Westport police and fire dive team recovered the body Thursday night.
"It takes a lot of coordination to make sure that areas are getting searched, documenting that those areas are getting searched and just trying to do a thorough investigation," said Woods.
Several police departments are offering their condolences. They say this is not the result they were hoping for.
"We feel satisfied that we were able to bring some resolution to the family and provide them some closure in this incident," said Woods.
Rugar's mother spoke to News 12 Connecticut by phone and says she wants to thank all the police departments that were involved in the search for her son.
She says her son was a funny guy who was into fitness and nature. She says he was also a blacksmith involved with horses as a farrier and sometimes worked at Belmont Park.
She says she and her husband started a company that they named after their son called Cody James Tools in New Fairfield.
The family is now making funeral arrangements.
Ridgefield police say they are still investigating this incident.
They are waiting for autopsy results from the State Medical Examiner.


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