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Ice fisherman’s body discovered in Chain O’Lakes

A Noble County man died in a lake after going ice fishing late Sunday inside Chain O’Lakes State Park.

Around 3:30 p.m., conservation officer divers with Indiana Department of Natural Resources recovered the body of Douglas W. Haigwood, 43, of Kimmel.

Conservation officers were searching for Haigwood after a friend reported him missing, telling officers Haigwood may have gone ice fishing at Mud Lake inside the park around 10 p.m. Sunday, according to a news release.

Officers found his fishing gear on the ice but could not find the man, according to the release.

Haigwood is the second area ice fisherman to die after falling through the ice. In mid-January, 50-year-old Mark W. Pusey drowned after he fell through the ice while fishing on a private pond in the 1100 block of Stellhorn Road.

The DNR urges caution when venturing out on frozen lakes and ponds, recommending a minimum of 4 inches of clear ice to support the weight of a person; and, no one should venture out alone. On its website, the DNR warns ice fishermen against older ice, noting that even thick ice can become rotten after rain.

Temperatures over the past few days have climbed, albeit slowly. According to the National Weather Service, temperatures have been above freezing for much of the daylight hours the past three days. Highs reached the lower 50s Sunday and the mid-60s Monday.