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Dunn County boater found, doesn't know how boat capsized

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News Ellsworth, 54011
Pierce County Herald
715-273-4335 customer support
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

Dunn County Sheriff Dennis Smith issued the following press release early Tuesday morning concerning the capsized boat: 

On July 3rd, at about 10:56 p.m., the Dunn County E-9-1-1 Center received a report that a boat was capsized on Upper Tainter Lake in the town of Tainter. Dunn County deputies, Menomonie firefighters and a Wisconsin DNR warden responded to the scene. An extensive search of the area was conducted and they were not able to locate anyone.

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During the water search, deputies went door-to-door to contact local residents around the lake in the area where the boat was located. Deputies asked if anyone had information about the type of boat that was in the water and asked if anyone knew of anyone on the lake for any reason at that time. They however found no one with information about a posssible victim in this incident and they were asked to call if they heard any related information.

Over the next four days, members from the Dunn County Sheriff's Office, Menomonie Fire, Wisconsin DNR and the Dunn County Medical Examiner's Office searched the area by boat, using side mounted sonar and underwater cameras. On Sunday, July 6, the Sheriff's office callsed in Bruce's Legacy, a volunteer search and recovery team from Black River Falls to help with the search for a possible drowning victim. The search crews were on the water from 8:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m., and didn't locate anything related to this incident.

Smith explained after reviewing the progress so far, an airplane assistance was requested. The Wisconsin State Patrol was contacted offering the services of their airplance and pilot. Arrangements were made and the search was conducted with nothing being located.

As the air search ensued, ground investigation continued and it was discovered a 38-year-old male, named Jake Wyss, of rural Boyceville, may own a boat matching the description located in the water. The sheriff's office also learned Wyss may be staying part-time in the area where the boat was located and deputies also felt he matched the physical description of the person seen fishing the evening of July 3rd.

Monday afternoon, law enforcement attempted to make contact with Wyss, but was unsuccessful. He later called them back and after providing them with photos, he felt the boat was his. He, however said, he had not left it capsized in the lake and claimed to not have any knowledge of how it ended up there. Monday evening, Wyss met with law enforcement again and identified the boat at his. He admitted talking to the complainants at the time he was reported seen in the boat. He said he quit fishing about 10 minutes later and returned to his part-time residence. He tied the boat up and does not know how it got back to the location where it was located. 

Tueday morning, the sheriff's office sent an additional release, stating since Wyss claimed not to be the one who tipped the boat over, periodic searches will still take place over the next several days.  

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