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Kootenai deputies retrieve body from Spirit Lake

UPDATED: Sun., March 25, 2012, 7:55 p.m.

The body of an 18-year-old Spirit Lake man was pulled from the icy waters along a cove of Spirit Lake on Sunday afternoon.

Kootenai County sheriff’s deputies identified the victim as Luke Anana-Kuewa. It was not known how he ended up in the lake.

Sheriff’s Major Ben Wolfinger said the victim was found by a walker or walkers in an area known as the Mill Pond, a shaded section of the lake, at about 11:45 a.m. on Sunday.

Deputies were unable to access the site by boat because of ice on the lake. There is no nearby road either, Wolfinger said.

Divers went to the scene to make the recovery, Wolfinger said.

Detectives were working to make a positive identification. The identity was released after family had been notified. An arm and the victim’s head were floating at the surface with the rest of the body lying in shallow water.

An all-terrain vehicle was sent into the wooded area to retrieve the body, Wolfinger said.

The manner in which the victim went into the water and the cause of death was not immediately known.

Wolfinger said detectives will be interviewing potential witnesses to determine what happened, but he cautioned the public to not take a risk by walking on unstable ice.

Being submerged in very cold water can cause hypothermia and death in a matter of minutes.