Body found after missing persons search

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SAWYER COUNTY, Wis. (WEAU) – The body of 20-year-old missing male was found after drowning

According to officials, Gage Backstrom, 20-year-old Arlington, Virginia resident, was found dead in the water near Big Timber Island on the Chippewa Flowage. Backstrom was not wearing a lifejacket.

Backstrom was vacationing in the area when a 911 call reported him as a missing male on July 4 around 12 a.m.

Sawyer County Deputies reported to the island on the flowage that Backstrom was camping at. They located the boat he had rented, campsite with a tent and personal belongings but Backstrom was not at the campsite.

Search efforts began July 4 where Sawyer County Search and Rescue searched the water nearby the island. The search efforts were suspended around 5:30 p.m. but Backstrom was not yet located.

Officials say search efforts resumed July 5 at 9 a.m. and Backstrom was found and identified around 10 a.m.

The Sheriff’s office says initial indications say Backstom was a drowning victim. Autopsy results are pending.

The Sawyer County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind everyone to wear a personal floatation device when they are boating or participating in other water activities.