Law Enforcment Officers Recover The Bodies Of Missing Brothers In Strawberry Reservoir

Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office reported Sunday evening that the search for two men at Strawberry Reservoir has come to an end.

After 11 days of searching Wasatch County Sheriff Jared Rigby reported that the bodies of Jim and Mark Gardiner have been found. The Utah county brothers, aged 70 and 61 were found southwest of the island near the Ladders area. The Ladders area is located on the northeast side of Strawberry Reservoir.

The men were found using a combination of technologies. Sonar was used to identify objects in the water, once objects were identified remote operated vehicles would go to the objects to get a clear picture of the objects.

The search for the men began on Thursday July 18th when a DWR employee driving by noticed a boat floating in the reservoir unoccupied. When the man drove past again, he found the boat on the shore.

Officials found the boat engine running although not in drive. One pole had a fish on the line and the family reported that a net was missing from the boat that would normally be there.

Sheriff Rigby said that although they don’t know the details, what likely happened was some sort of an accident on the lake with the brothers trying to help each other.

The missing men’s youngest brother Mike Gardiner spoke on Sunday representing the family. Gardiner thanked Wasatch County Sheriff’s Department for their efforts to locate the brothers. Gardiner and Sheriff Rigby both thanked Search and Rescue volunteers from the county, as well as others who assisted in the search including officers from Summit, Utah and Weber counties as well as other agencies from the state and even as far as Wyoming. Sheriff Rigby also noted the support received from local businesses.

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