RANGELEY, Maine (AP) — Wardens fear three men on a snowmobile outing crashed into Rangeley Lake, the same lake where a woman’s body was recovered Monday after her snowmobile hit open water.
Helmets linked to the men were found Monday in the lake, so it’s believed that the three ended up in the icy water just hours after a 45-year-old woman rode her snowmobile onto open water and died Sunday evening, said Doug Rafferty, spokesman for the Maine Warden Service.
There were strong winds and blowing snow, causing potential whiteout conditions, when the four were last seen, Rafferty said.
Divers on Monday recovered the body of Dawn Newell of Durham, who'd been snowmobiling with her 16-year-old son when her snowmobile raced off a frozen potion of the lake into water. Her son, who was following behind, was able to get back to shore, where he called 911, officials said.
Hours later, wardens were alerted that a group of three men who'd left Sunday evening from Carrabassett Valley had failed to return from their outing.
Wardens seeking to recover Newell’s body found evidence, including the helmets, suggesting the men had unwittingly crashed into another part of the lake, Rafferty said. The men — Kenneth Henderson, 40, of China; Glenn Henderson, 43, of Sabattus; and John Spencer, 41, of Litchfield — were last seen in Rangeley before heading out on their outing, he said.
The warden service will resume the search on New Year’s Day with airboats and side-scan sonar, as well as aircraft, said Maine Warden Service Cpl. John MacDonald.