Man’s body recovered from Ute Lake

Thomas Garcia

Dive teams have recovered the body of a 31-year-old Portales man who drowned Thursday night at Ute Lake.

“The divers recovered the body of a man at 2 p.m., Friday at Ute Lake,” said New Mexico State Police Lt. Cleo Baker.

Baker said the identity of the drowning victim could not be released pending notification of next-of-kin.

State police divers began the search this morning.

A state police patrol car and New Mexico State Parks truck blocked the entrance to the southside section of Ute Lake State Park.

State Police were called to Ute Lake early Friday morning by two women who were swimming with the man when he disappeared, according to press release from Peter Olson, Department of Public Safety communication director.

The release stated the three were swimming about 30 meters off shore after midnight.

The two women then swam back to shore and heard splashing and shouting but thought it was the man’s continued horseplay and not a call for help. When the women couldn’t find the man they called state police for help.

An autopsy is scheduled, according to the release.