Search crews confirm missing boater’s body found in Lake Milton

The body of Kyle Alspaugh, of East Canton, was found on the northern end of Lake Milton Wednesday night

Missing Lake Milton man


CRAIG BEACH, Ohio (WKBN) – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources confirmed that a body found in Lake Milton has been positively identified as that of missing 29-year-old Kyle Alspaugh.

It was an emotional end to a long day of searching.

ODNR said the East Canton man’s body was recovered in the northern end of the lake just after 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Crews found the body with the use of sonar and K9s. Around 5 p.m. Wednesday, they pinged on something in the water.

But the device could have pinged on several different things.

“Could find a person, picnic table, or object bigger than a hand under water,” Ford said.

Divers went in and found Alspaugh’s body. They said it’s likely his body drifted throughout the night.

“Still calm night last night. It’s not inherently dangerous just because it’s dark,” said Doug Ford, with ODNR.

The time of the accident didn’t make the situation more dangerous but he said other things did.

ODNR stresses boaters should always wear a life jacket and never boat alone.

“Bring your friend with you. Tell people where you’re going and when you expect to be back. File a float plan, as we say, so folks know where you’re at and where to come look for you if they don’t hear from you for a while,” Ford said.

ODNR officials said Alspaugh was in that boat by himself, checking some repair work he’d just finished.

Family identified Alspaugh as missing on Tuesday night after his boat was found running and empty in the middle of the water.

The 911 call came in at about 9:30 p.m. from a man who spotted the empty boat spinning out of control in the lake.

911 call excerpt:

Caller: “I live on Lake Milton and there is a boat circling out in the middle of the lake in front of the state park, in front of the beach area, making a real tight circle. I think it’s a runaway boat. There may be someone in the water around it. I can just see the lights but the boat is circling in a real right circle at a fairly high speed.”

911: “Is there anyone in the boat?”

Caller: “No, I’m pretty sure there’s nobody in the boat.”

Ford said the boat’s movement was the first clue to rescuers that someone was in the water and in trouble.

“Real tight circles, which kind of indicates to us that there’s nobody operating it.”

Michael Buczek was fishing at the dam when he noticed the man’s boat.

“I noticed a gentleman driving up and down in a boat, then it started doing doughnuts, driving erratically, and I heard someone yell for help.”

When Buczek and others went to help, the boat was empty. They towed the boat to shore and called police.

Drones were brought in just after 8 a.m. Wednesday to an area near Craig Beach.

Crews searched the area by boat and by air late Tuesday night and into the early hours on Wednesday, using ground and water crews, a helicopter, and K9s.

The park remained open Wednesday but park-goers were advised to avoid the search area.

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