Missing boater found dead in New Jersey lake after 2-day search

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Monday, August 5, 2019

LAKE HOPATCONG, New Jersey (WABC) -- The body of a man was recovered in a New Jersey lake Monday morning, police said, after he had fallen off a vessel and gone missing since Saturday evening.

Authorities located the body of Mount Arlington native Jason Gill, 24, in Lake Hopatcong at around 6:30 a.m.

Police said Gill's body was observed by a boater in the vicinity of the search area and recovered by Marine Services Bureau troopers.

At around 7:40 p.m. on Saturday, troopers from the New Jersey State Police Marine Services Bureau responded to the report of man who fell off a pontoon boat and submerged without resurfacing near Main Lake Market.

Marine Services Bureau troopers conducted a search of the area using side scan sonar sub-surface detection equipment. State Police Aviation and T.E.A.M.S. Units assisted in the search as well as Jefferson Fire Department.

As a result of the investigation, troopers discovered that the operator of the vessel, Nicholas Zarantonello, 24, of Lake Hopatcong was under the influence. He was arrested and charged with boating under the influence and released pending a future court date.

The case remains under investigation by the New Jersey State Police Troop "B" Criminal Investigation Office and Morris County Prosecutor's Office, who took possession of Gill for an autopsy.


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