Bodies Found Of Two Men Who Went Missing On Utah Lake

May 16, 2021, 9:02 AM | Updated: Feb 14, 2023, 4:16 pm

SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah – Search and rescue crews were called out to the southern part of Utah Lake after family members reported two men missing. The men’s bodies were found after several hours of searching.

Sgt. Spencer Cannon with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office said dispatchers received a call around 1:30 a.m. Sunday.

Family members told officials the two men left the Knolls area of the lake on one jet ski around 4:20 p.m. They became concerned when the men did not return.

Their truck was still parked with all their equipment and belongings.

Cannon said crews found the watercraft around 9 a.m. in about seven to eight feet of water. The body of the first victim was found about 9:30 a.m., and the other was found minutes later.

The two men, who were brothers from West Valley City, were found deceased.

The victims were later identified as 33-year-old Jorge Anica and 21-year-old Manuel Anica.

“They are suffering from an unimaginable tragedy right now,” Cannon said of the family. “They’ve lost two loved ones who were out just enjoying each other’s company.”

Officials said both men were wearing their life jackets.

“Life jackets will keep somebody at or near the surface, but it doesn’t necessarily always make it so they can keep their head up and out of the water,” said Cannon.

They were discovered about 1.5 miles southeast of the Knolls area.

Witnesses reported seeing one of the men go out onto the water, come back to the shore and pick up the other man around 7 p.m.

Cannon said there was some wind on the lake Saturday evening, but it was not severe. He said the men has recently purchased the older-model watercraft and had only been out on the water once or twice before they went missing.

The water temperature was in the 50s.

“It’s not easy to do well for very long in water that’s that temperature,” Cannon said. “The problem with being in water that temperature is you lose the ability to think clearly after a period of time (and) you lose strength in your muscles.”

Crews spent around three hours searching for the men overnight Sunday, with assistance from a helicopter from the Utah Department of Public Safety.

They searched the area between the Knolls on the west side of the lake and Lincoln Beach on the east side.

Crews searched both in the water and along the shore for signs the men were able to get off the lake.

“We really have no idea exactly where they went from there, if they’re missing in the lake, or if they got off the lake,” said Cannon.

Search and rescue teams were back out on the lake around 7 a.m. to continue their search.

Cannon said the search was being conducted in the same area where two teenage girls drowned in the summer of 2020.

Officials were working to determine exactly what happened. Anyone who saw the men on a jet ski in the area or has other information has been asked to call emergency dispatchers at 801-794-3970.

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Bodies Found Of Two Men Who Went Missing On Utah Lake