Credits: QMI AGENCY
SAULT STE. MARIE, ON -- One man is dead and his longtime friend is missing after their snowmobiles went into Lake George early Saturday.
Steven Matte, a Garden River, ON resident, and a friend were returning home after visiting an establishment in Echo Bay, said his aunt Cheryl Miller, who could not confirm the missing man's identity.
Matte, 37, was found several hundred metres off the shoreline from Ojibway Park in Garden River at about 2:25 p.m. Sunday, Ontario Provincial Police said. His friend is still being sought.
The pair were riding with two of Matte's brother-in-laws, but "they took their time" and became separated.
"I guess they didn't stay on the same track," Miller said Sunday.
When Matte's relatives returned to look for them, they only found their helmets on the ice.
Police, including about six OPP divers, searched the water until dark on Saturday and resumed Sunday morning as family members kept vigil at the scene.
"They're patiently waiting for some kind of news," Miller said. "His brother wanted to see for himself so that he would be at peace."
Miller was at the search scene on Sunday as well, but "had to leave" because she "couldn't take it."
Police told the family that snowmachine tracks were seen going into Lake George but none exiting.
Their sleds were found in about 30 feet of water where they went missing.
Matte enjoyed the outdoors. He fished, snowmobiled and rode a four-wheeler.
Another of Miller's nephews, Michael Charbonneau, was killed in a snowmobile collision in Edmonton in 2010.