Body found in lake identified as man missing since 1996

OCONOMOWOC, Wis. (AP) — A body found in a Waukesha County lake last year has now been identified as a man reported missing in 1996.

Town of Oconomowoc police say DNA from a family member was used to identify 31-year-old Thomas Engel. Officials say the conditions of Okauchee Lake, which is more than 90 feet deep, preserved Engel’s body over the years. He was reported missing during a boating incident in June of 1996.

When the body was discovered last October, police Chief James Wallis says he was reminded of the 1996 case. He was a patrolman when Engel went missing. Wallis worked with a family member to find Engel’s biological mother, who provided a DNA sample.

It took nearly 11 months for results from the DNA testing.

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