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Bodies of 2 missing brothers discovered on Utah Lake

(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)


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UTAH COUNTY — The bodies of two missing brothers were discovered on Utah Lake Sunday afternoon, authorities say.

The Utah County Sheriff's Office found the bodies of Jorge Anica, 33, and Manuel Anica, 21, who left on a single WaveRunner near the Knolls area of Utah Lake at approximately 4:20 p.m. Both brothers were wearing life jackets.

The bodies were discovered approximately a mile southeast of the Knolls area where they entered the water, and an investigation is underway. No obvious injuries were visible on the bodies and investigators suspect the men drowned. Cold water temperature may be a factor in their deaths, authorities said.

The Utah County Sheriff's Office received a call at approximately 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning from a woman who reported her husband, age 33, and his brother, age 21, had left from the Knolls area of Utah Lake on Saturday and had not returned, Utah County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue said. The woman said she and her family found the truck the men were driving parked on the west side of the lake, several miles south of Saratoga Springs. The men were not in the truck, but all of their stuff was, authorities said.

"They're suffering from an unimaginable tragedy right now," Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon told KSL TV of the family. "They lost two loved ones who were out, just enjoying each other's company."

The Utah County Sheriff's office searched Utah Lake for approximately three hours early Sunday morning, including with a Department of Public Safety helicopter.

Crews resumed the search shortly before 7 a.m. on Sunday morning at Lincoln Beach, where they began their search across the lake near the Knolls, Utah County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue said. Investigators spoke to campers in the area who saw one man return to shore at approximately 7 p.m. Saturday night before the other man got on the same WaveRunner and they both went back out into the lake. That was the last time investigators know of the men being seen.

A Utah County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue member searching on a WaveRunner discovered the brothers' missing personal watercraft more than a mile from shore at 8:53 a.m. on Sunday, the agency said.

Two bodies wearing the same color life jackets that the men were wearing were discovered at 9:37 a.m. and 9:41 a.m., respectively.

While investigators suspect drowning, autopsies will be conducted to conclude the cause of death.

In May of last year, two girls also drowned at the Knolls area on Utah Lake.

Contributing: Garna Mejia, KSL TV

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