Spokane man hopes Priest Lake skeleton is his father

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by KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on May 20, 2010 at 9:25 PM

Updated Friday, May 21 at 10:55 AM

PRIEST LAKE, Idaho -- A Spokane man says a body brought up from the bottom of Priest Lake may be his missing father.  The body was found by sonar in 2004.  Sheriff's deputies only got a chance to bring it to the surface this week.

No one is sure exactly how long the body has been at the bottom of the lake.  It could have been down there anywhere from 50 to 100 years.  If it is 50 years, Mike Katke thinks it might be his dad.

Katke was eight years old the last time he saw his father.  It was July 3, 1960.  Don Katke was headed to Priest Lake to remodel a cabin.  The newspaper said Don drowned in the deepest part of the lake, near Pinto Point.  His body was never found.

For decades Mike wondered what happened.  On Wednesday, he heard the story of a body found at the bottom of the lake.  A Boise man was searching for a missing boater in 2004 and found the boat and the man.  A rowboat was discovered and the body was found a few hundred feet away.  It was finally recovered on Monday near Pinto Point.
 
 
Mike says he is not sure if the skeleton found is really his dad.  Police recovered his father's boat on shore.  There are 11 other outstanding missing persons reports on the lake.  It is enough to get him wondering again and hoping to finally put those memories to rest.

The Bonner County Sheriff's Office says it is looking for DNA samples to try and match up family members with the remains.  Mike says he will gladly take the test if it will help.

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