Body recovered from Crow Wing County lake after boat found empty

The man was identified as 69-year-old William Elliott of Deerwood, Minnesota.


RIVERTON, Minn. — Authorities recovered the body of a 69-year-old Deerwood, Minnesota, man from a Crow Wing County lake Tuesday, Oct. 12, after a citizen reported an empty boat in the water the night before.

The Crow Wing County Recreational Division and the Crow Wing County Dive Team retrieved the body of William Elliott at about 9:15 a.m.

The Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office reported deputies responded to the Little Rabbit Lake boat access for a welfare check at 6:05 p.m. Monday to investigate the report of an unoccupied boat drifting 75 feet off the shoreline. The caller also reported seeing a pair of socks and shoes sitting on the dock.

With the assistance of the citizen, deputies recovered the unoccupied boat and searched the surrounding area but were unable to locate anyone. They observed at the landing a vehicle with a trailer with the same registered owner as the boat, but were unsuccessful in contacting the owner. Due to darkness, a more extensive search for the missing boater was delayed until the following morning.

Elliott’s body was recovered Tuesday morning in about 17 feet of water about 15 feet off the end of the dock at the boat launch. Elliot was transported to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office, and the cause of death is pending.


The Crow Wing County Drone Team also assisted the sheriff's office.

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