Teen’s body recovered from Donner Lake | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Teen’s body recovered from Donner Lake

David Bunker

TRUCKEE – Searchers recovered the body of 15-year-old Mohit Melvin Prasad from Donner Lake on Tuesday, ending a deep water search that spanned a week and a half.

“It’s a great relief to find him,” said Truckee police Lt. Dan Johnston. “It allows the family to put him to rest.”

Prasad drowned in the lake July 16 after jumping from a rented pontoon boat to recover his hat from the water.

A Yuba County sonar boat first picked up a reading of the body just after midnight at a location slightly west of where the search had been concentrated. A second, more detailed sonar reading from a Tuolumne County boat confirmed that the object was the body of Prasad.

Officials then lowered a remotely operated vehicle, which was able to grab the body and bring it to the surface. The body, which was brought up around 3:50 a.m., was under approximately 130 feet of water, Johnston said.

Prasad’s family was on the shore of Donner Lake during the operation. Police determined it was the body of Prasad through a physical description and matching clothing and jewelry.

The successful recovery capped a 13-hour day of searching. Monday was the first day the agencies had searched since efforts were scaled back last Wednesday.

For Truckee police, who had been in contact with more than 60 members of Prasad’s family during the ordeal, the successful end to the tragic drowning was welcome.

“It’s an emotional experience for everyone involved,” Johnston said.

Prasad’s body was turned over to the Nevada County Sheriff’s office. The county coroner will likely perform an autopsy before the body is returned to the family for burial.

Johnston said the search agencies, which included personnel from six different counties, as well as the Donner Lake homeowners who allowed the searchers to operate from their private beach, were an integral part of the success of the search efforts.

“It’s our great honor to get him back to (his family),” Johnston said. “It is a good ending to a sad story.”

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