SANDPOINT – A suburban Tacoma high school teacher vanished after going for a boat ride on Lake Pend Oreille, and relatives believe he had a heart attack, fell into the water and drowned.
Bruce Hamilton, 53, of Puyallup, Wash., who taught history and coached baseball at Clover Park High School, was last seen June 29 when he took a canoe-like boat with a 2-horsepower engine out for a ride from Sunrise Bay, said Jay Wiley, his brother-in-law.
The boat was found empty several hours later near Sunnyside Peninsula, two miles from where it had been launched.
The weather was calm but Hamilton was not wearing a life jacket when he was last seen, Wiley said.
“Usually, he’s a very cautious person and very cautious around the water,” he said.
Bonner County sheriff’s deputies, divers and dogs have been unable to find any trace of Hamilton despite an extensive search.
Lynn Hamilton said she thinks her husband had a heart attack, fell in the water and drowned. She said he skipped a family dinner the night before he was last seen, complaining of severe back and stomach pain and appearing pale and nauseated.
The family has scheduled a memorial service Friday at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Puyallup.
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