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Missing Emmetsburg man found dead in submerged vehicle

EMMETSBURG — An Emmetsburg man who was reported missing almost two weeks ago was found dead in a submerged vehicle in an incident that investigators are saying is not suspicious.

Colton Johnson, 19, was reported missing in the early morning hours of June 22.

Emmetsburg Police Chief Ryan Veldboom said in a written statement that Johnson was last seen with friends that day.

Family, friends, volunteers and law enforcement officers conducted a large-scale search, which included ground, air and water.

On June 28, Veldboom said the Iowa Department of Natural Resources found a submerged vehicle in Five Island Lake, located in Emmetsburg.

With the help of the Okoboji/Arnolds Park Underwater Search & Rescue Team, the vehicle was recovered from the water. Inside, investigators found the body of a man, who was identified as Johnson following a preliminary autopsy.

The preliminary report indicated that Johnson had drowned and foul play is not suspected.

The investigation into what happened is ongoing.

The Emmetsburg Police Department was assisted by the Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Department, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Kossuth County Sheriff’s Department, Iowa State Patrol, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Emmetsburg Fire Department, Sioux City Police Department, Spencer Police Department and Palo Alto County medical examiner’s office.