Gladwin County ice fisherman presumed drowned in private lake

A Gladwin County ice fisherman is presumed drowned in a private lake, where he was ice fishing.
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GLADWIN COUNTY (WJRT) (3/11/2020) - Michigan State Police divers were searching Wednesday for the body of a Gladwin County ice fisherman who is presumed drowned on a private lake.

Police believe 58-year-old Jeffrey Benmark of Gladwin fell through the ice while fishing sometime Tuesday afternoon. His body hadn't been recovered from the lake by Wednesday morning.

Police say Benmark did not show up to work as scheduled at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, so his boss called Benmark's girlfriend at her place of employment. She went home, discovered him missing and called 911.

Emergency crews found Benmark's four-wheeler parked on the shore of a lake in the 4100 block of Adams Road and a bucket sitting on the ice near a hole. Police say the lake had several areas of open water around the partial sheet of ice.

Michigan State Police believe Benmark walked onto thin ice around 3 or 3:30 p.m. and fell through. He is presumed drowned, but divers are searching the lake Wednesday for his body.

Police say a first responder fell through the ice while trying to help find Benmark, but they were able to get out of the water.