Los Lunas man drowns in Ute Lake

A 63-year-old Los Lunas man was pronounced dead apparent drowning Tuesday at Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital after his wife found him floating face-down in Ute Lake.

At 8:50 a.m., New Mexico State Police officers were notified the body of Walter Bell was discovered by his wife, said Lt. Lance Bateman.

Bateman said the man’s wife went looking for Bell after he failed to return to their car when launching a boat into the water. Bateman said the wife pulled Bell’s body to the shoreline and called for help.

Bateman said New Mexico State Park staff performed CPR on Bell until paramedics arrived. He said Bell was transported to Trigg Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

This is the first drowning reported at an area lake in more than a year. On May 29, 2012, Griffen Walter 15, of Sandia Park, drowned at Conchas Lake after diving off of his family’s fishing boat. New Mexico State Police dive teams recovered Walter’s body in approximately 13 feet of water.

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