STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. -- A sonar boat with the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office located a body in Waitts Lake Wednesday afternoon.
Wednesday afternoon divers from Spokane County retrieved the body. There was not family on the scene to identify the body, but the Stevens County Sheriff's Office says it strongly believes the body is that of Frederick Barker, 48, of Spokane.
Officials believe Barker drowned this weekend in the Stevens County lake when he attempted to save his fishing rod.
Barker was on Waitts Lake Saturday with two other people when the rod slipped out of the boat. He went in after it without a life jacket on, according to the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office.
The others in the boat threw jackets to him, but they were unable to save the man.
Stevens County Sheriff Kendle Allen requested help from Kootenai County’s sonar boat. In less than an hour, it located the body under 45 feet of water, nearly 100 yards away from where witnesses say Barker went in.
“It's a needle in a haystack. It would have been almost impossible [to find him] unless we knew the exact pin-point spot of where he went down without the use of the sonar,” said Kendle Allen, Stevens County Sheriff.
Deputies from Stevens County and Spokane County, along with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, are investigating.
Deputies said he might have died from shock, due to the cold temperature of the water.