MADERA COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A body recovered from Millerton Lake on Sunday has been confirmed to be the diver who went missing on Christmas Eve, according to Madera County Sheriff’s Office.
Around 6:30 p.m. Friday, deputies were called out to the Meadow Campground area of Millerton Lake after it was reported that had a diver had disappeared while he was diving by himself that afternoon.
Search and rescue teams quickly arrived at the lake and began combing through the surrounding area for the missing diver.
“After it got dark, the next morning in daylight we came back out, we brought our divers and boat units out to check in the area with sonar equipment,” explained Madera County Sheriff’s Commander Jason Clark. “We weren’t able to locate anything so we request assistance from other agencies, they brought out their boats to assist us today.”
On Sunday morning, the Sheriff’s Office says the body of the diver, identified as 55-year-old Melvin Helm of Clovis, was recovered from the water in the Meadows area.
Investigators are now looking into the events leading up to Helm’s death.
“It’s too early to make a statement, we don’t know until the investigation is complete,” said Clark.
Officials are urging visitors to be extra cautious as more people are expected to turn out on lakes for the new year.