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Search resumes for 2 Illinois men missing in Wisconsin lake

The four Illinois men had been visiting a friend at a house on Lake Beulah in Wisconsin. | File photo

EAST TROY, Wis. — The search has resumed for two Illinois men who went missing at a southern Wisconsin lake, after the bodies of two of their friends were pulled from the water.

Two bodies were pulled from the frigid Lake Beulah on Sunday. The four friends left a house early Sunday morning and apparently took a canoe out on the lake but never returned, a state investigative spokesman said.

Jason Roberts, the spokesman in the investigation of the incident by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, said the four men — ages 20 to 23 — were from Illinois. Their names were not released.

They had gone to visit a friend whose parents have a house on Lake Beulah, about 35 miles southeast of Milwaukee. The four men left the house early Sunday morning and told friends they were going for a smoke but never returned. In the morning, their friends discovered that they were not in the house and found tracks to the boathouse. A 14-foot, 3-person canoe was missing.

“From across the bay they could see an overturned canoe,” Roberts said. Everyone had been drinking at the house and there was no evidence the young men took life jackets with them on the canoe, he said. Searchers eventually found two bodies in an area of the lake where the overturned canoe was found and there were signs of broken ice.

“At this time there is no reason to believe foul play was involved,” Roberts said.