Crime - Sacto 911

Identities sought after two bodies found in El Dorado County lake

Fallen Leaf Lake is about a mile south of Lake Tahoe.
Fallen Leaf Lake is about a mile south of Lake Tahoe.

A dive team recovered two bodies from Fallen Leaf Lake, the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday morning.

A body similar to that of a woman missing since 2001 was recovered Aug. 29 with no indication of foul play, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release.

An Oct. 27 search for David Ward, who was 21 when he vanished in 1996, was unsuccessful but turned up another male body that appeared to have been in the lake for many years.

A small anchor had been tied to the man’s legs with a rope. Both bodies have been sent to the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office for autopsies, and DNA samples were sent to a California Department of Justice Forensic Crime Laboratory for identification.

Ward had been fishing with another man when their boat capsized. The other man swam to shore, but Ward’s body had never been found. His mother wrote she was “going to join her son” in a 2001 suicide note, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Bruce’s Legacy also retrieved the bodies of missing kayaker Dan Pham and University of Nevada, Reno, football player Marc Ma in Lake Tahoe last summer. The Wisconsin nonprofit honors the memory of Bruce Cormican, a firefighter who drowned attempting to recover a sunken kayaker in 1995.

Located about a mile south of Lake Tahoe, Fallen Leaf Lake’s deepest depth is about 415 feet.

Benjy Egel: 916-321-1052, @BenjyEgel