LAKE CITY, Michigan — At 4:30 p.m. Sunday, the Missaukee County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of an overdue/missing person, Randall Heitkamp (59) of Columbus, Ohio and formerly of St. Henry, who had been paddleboarding on Lake Missaukee, according to a release by police. Heitkamp’s paddleboard was found in the area of Lake Missaukee and John Street in Lake City.
Deputies and the Missaukee County Marine Patrol started to search for Heitkamp and the Northern Michigan Mutual Aid Drive Team was activated to help with the search. The Department of Natural Resources also assisted the sheriff’s office. Police said the search was conducted along the shoreline and water in the area where the paddleboard was found.
Heitkamp’s body was located and recovered by divers just after midnight Monday. The body was found 150 yards from shore in approximately 17 feet of water.
Heitkamp and his family annually visited Lake City on vacation.
Yancer said conditions on Sunday were windy and Heitkamp liked to paddleboard from Miltner Beach to the Missaukee County Park and back. He also said Heitkamp wasn’t wearing a life jacket and he wasn’t tethered to the paddleboard.
The medical examiner has ordered an autopsy, but it will take a few weeks before the results of that will be known. What is known, however, is that what typically was a happy time turned into a tragedy for the family, Yancer said.
The incident remains under investigation.