The body of a western Iowa man was pulled from a lake Thursday. A passerby spotted an overturned kayak in Lake Anita and reported it to the Lake Anita State Park Manager around 3 p.m., according to a news release from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
A body was then pulled from the lake, along with the kayak and a paddle. The victim is identified as 63-year-old Roland Henderson of Wiota.
Investigators believe Henderson drowned, but an autopsy is being done. No life jacket was found at the scene. Captain Brian Smith, with the DNR, say it remains unclear when Henderson may’ve entered the water.
“We have witnesses who actually saw him with the kayak Wednesday evening, not on the water, but in his vehicle…so there’s a little time lapse when he was last seen Wednesday evening with the kayak in the pickup and when he was discovered Thursday afternoon,” Smith said.
He’s warning outdoor enthusiasts this is a dangerous time of year to be on a lake or river because the water is still very cold. “You know, it’s deceptive, because the air temperature is nice, the sun is shining, and it’s pleasant out. So, people are breaking out the flip flops, the shorts, and t-shirts,” Smith said. “But, that water temperature is still 49 or 50 degrees…that’s what I found (Thursday).”
It’s believed Henderson’s death is the first drowning at Lake Anita, which opened 52-years ago.
(Ric Hansen, KJAN, Atlantic contributed to this story)