LAS CRUCES – The body of a man who is believed to have drowned May 27 at Elephant Butte Lake State Park has been recovered.
Beth Wojahn, communications director for the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, which oversees state parks, said the body was discovered early Tuesday by a camper who was walking near the shore of the lake, in an area known as Smiley Cove.
“Officers with the State Parks Division and the (New Mexico) state Office of the Medical Investigator are still investigating,” Wojahn said. “OMI has not positively identified the body, and it could be up to two weeks before an identification is made.”
The apparent drowning was first reported May 27, during the Memorial Day weekend, one of the busiest times of the year at Elephant Butte Lake. The New Mexico State Police Search and Recovery Dive Team looked for the body May 27, May 28 and May 29. The search was called off late May 29 when they were unable to find the body.
Still, state parks officers continued to search. Sunday, the Mesilla Valley Search and Rescue Dog Team was summoned to help pinpoint where the body could be. Wojahn said the dogs apparently alerted state parks officers to the general vicinity where the body was eventually found.
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