DELTA COUNTY, Colo. — The bodies of two men presumed to have driven a snowcat out onto the near-frozen Island Lake near Grand Mesa early Monday morning have been located, according to Delta County Sheriff Mark Taylor.
A snowcat is an enclosed-cab, truck-sized vehicle designed to move across the snow that typically weighs about 15,000 pounds.
The Summit County Sheriff's Office Search & Rescue team located the snowcat and bodies late Monday afternoon using an unmanned underwater drone.
Deputies responded to a call from the Grand Mesa Lodge Sunday morning after its owner called to report overdue parties.
Taylor said a group of three men and a woman checked into the lodge Saturday afternoon. They were later identified as Delta County residents 30-year-old Ryan Wells, 30-year-old Richard Colton and 30-year-old Dustin Gray -- as well as 38-year-old Cedaredge resident Kandi Casaus.
The woman and one of the men have since been located, Taylor said.
Two adult men presumed to be the two missing men from the Grand Mesa Lodge were transferred to the Delta County Coroner for identification, according to Taylor.
The night prior, Wells had asked the lodge owner, Michael Wenner, "about taking [the snowcat] out on the ice," and Wenner advised "that was not a good idea due to the weight of the snowcat," according to Taylor.
Wenner said he woke up at approximately 1 a.m. Sunday to the sound of the snowcat starting up.
A relative of Wells also came to the lodge and, on a snowmobile, located snowcat tracks leading approximately 150 yards to the middle of Island Lake and a "large hole in the ice indicating the snowcat had broken through the ice."
Delta County Search and Rescue responded and could not find evidence that indicated either of the two men had walked away from the broken ice.
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