Search teams scour Lake Ellen for man presumed drowned

SHEBOYGAN CO. -- The search for a 28-year-old Plymouth man who is missing and presumed drowned in Lake Ellen entered its second full day on Monday, August 27th, and the search effort expanded. As of Monday at 7:00 p.m., the search was discontinued, and officials said no further search efforts were planned. Officials have not yet recovered the body of James Piechocki.

Piechocki reportedly fell out of a boat on Lake Ellen around 1 a.m. Sunday.

As of Monday morning, the dive/search teams included crews from Milwaukee, Sheboygan and Cedar Grove. Crews were employing Milwaukee Fire Department sonar technology to assist with the search.

"They should be able to see the topography on the bottom of the lake and when they discover something, they'll send a diver out to investigate it," Sheboygan County Sheriff's Lt. John Detienne said.

The first call for help came around 1 a.m. Sunday, August 26th. The caller reported an individual that had previously been on a boat was in the water and had not been heard from for over 10 minutes.

Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Lt. Chad Broeren said four people were on the boat — two men and two women — all of them cousins.

As of Sunday evening, the search effort had become a "recovery mission," though finding Piechocki has become no less important to search crews. They say they are confident the family will get closure soon.

"We've got the best technology that's available in the area and highly-trained individuals from Milwaukee and our local jurisdictions and we're very hopeful that we can find him," Lt. Detienne said.

Officials say their investigation is ongoing, and they will re-evaluate their decision to discontinue the search efforts if new information comes to light.

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