GRAND MESA, Colo. (CBS4) — Two men were found dead — along with a 15,000-pound snowcat — in a frozen lake on Colorado’s Western Slope on Monday.
Two men who rented a room at the Grand Mesa Lodge were reported missing on Saturday. Their belongings were still in the room past the Saturday morning checkout time. A local resident, 30-year-old Ryan Wells, was listed as the person who booked the room and the person who drove a privately owned snowcat to the lodge, according to a press release from the Delta County Sheriff’s Office.
The owner of the lodge told Delta County investigators he heard a snowcat start at 1 a.m. Saturday.
The owner also told investigators that Wells had asked about driving the snowcat on ice when he arrived. The lodge owner told Wells it was not a good idea due to the weight of the 15,000-pound snowcat, according to DCSO’s press release.
A relative went to the area Saturday on a snowmobile and located snowcat tracks leading onto the ice of Island Lake, a short distance from the lodge. That’s on the Delta County side of Grand Mesa. The family member located a large hole in the ice 150 yards from the shore.
Colorado Search and Rescue Board and the Summit County Search and Rescue team were called to check the lake. They used an underwater drone, or Remote Operated Vehicle, to capture video and pictures under the ice.
The ROV immediately located the snowcat and two bodies in approximately 65 feet of water.
The ROV has a retractable arm and they used it to retrieve the two bodies and bring them to the surface.
Two adult men are presumed to be the two missing men from the Grand Mesa Lodge but the bodies were transferred to the Delta County Coroner where a positive identification will be made.
Grand Mesa Lodge recently posted on Facebook about its considerable snow depth after a storm.