Two teens found dead near Zephyr Cove |

Two teens found dead near Zephyr Cove

Jeff Munson

Two teenagers were found dead near Zephyr Cove on Saturday with one of the victims found on the beach and the other submerged in water.

The men, Timothy Coleman, 19 of Gardnerville, and Alex Haas, also 19, from Minden, are believed to have gone to the beach on Friday with the intent to stay for one day. Thunderstorms and lightening were scattered around the region on Friday.

Both are 2005 Douglas High School graduates.

The pair were discovered Saturday, with Coleman found washed up on shore 500 yards north of Zephyr Cove Resort pier at about 1 p.m., Douglas County Sheriff Sgt. Tom Mezzetta said.

A sheriff’s patrol boat found Haas about a half hour later, submerged in eight feet of water.

The preliminary investigation suggests the pair arrived at the beach on Friday. Their gear, towels and the like were found on the beach, indicating the men had prepared for a single day outing. The gear was found wet and is believed to have been laid out prior to the rain that fell on Saturday.

Autopsies are scheduled for Monday. The investigation of these two deaths is continuing and additional information will be made available in the days ahead.

There does not appear to be any kind of blunt force trauma that would make authorities believe there was any foul play, Mezzetta said.

There was a suggestion the men had been diving and that one of the men was injured while diving. Mezzetta said “there is nothing in our investigation to prove or disprove” whether the men had been diving.

On Friday, bands of thunderstorms blanketed Lake Tahoe. It is unknown if lightning had caused their deaths. More than 1,000 strikes were reported in the region.

“Lightning is the first thing that I thought of and I brought it up with the coroner,” Mezzetta told the Associated Press on Sunday. “There were no burns on the bodies observed, but then again I don’t know what lightning does when it strikes.

“So we’re looking into that possibility and looking into they may have been diving in the area,” he said.

The thunderstorm produced more than 1,100 lightning strikes around Reno and was the most intense such storm in the region in years, said Scott McGuire, a National Weather Service forecaster in Reno.

“They definitely had lightning up at Lake Tahoe,” McGuire said. “If they had their feet in the water and lightning struck the lake near them, that’s enough to kill somebody.”

Coleman played football and Haas played soccer at Douglas High School.

” The Associated Press contributed to this report

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


See more