A Spokane Valley man died in Blue Lake near Harrison, Saturday, Jan. 29.
The body of Dale G. Renfro, 60, was found in the lake at approximately 6:00 p.m. At approximately 4:20 p.m. Kootenai County deputies, dive rescue team, and EMS from Eastside Fire responded to reports of a person calling for help near N. Brewster Road and Blue Lake Road.
A citizen in the area located a vehicle but no one nearby. That prompted emergency services to search the surrounding land and water. The deceased was located at approximately 6:00 p.m. partially submerged in the lake. Authorities said it was unclear if Renfro drowned or died from cold exposure.
According to Lt. Ryan Higgins, the body of Renfro was approximately 600 yards on to the lake ice where he appeared to have fallen through a weak point in the ice.
“There are natural springs in the lake and the ice is often not as thick as it appears,” Lt. Higgins said.
Mr. Renfro’s family told the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office that he was an avid ice fisherman and was likely attempting to ice fish when he fell through the ice.
The KCSO urged anyone venturing out on ice to exercise caution.
“Even though it is winter and typically the chain lake near the area of Harrison freeze up, this winter has not been as cold as past winters so far. Citizens need to use caution when they venture out onto any lakes that appear frozen,” Lt. Higgins said.
The KCSO also advised wearing a life jacket while on the ice.
Mr. Renfro was a native of Santa, ID. He was a graduate of St. Maries High School and the University of Idaho, Moscow.