Department of Natural Resources
Michigan Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Brad Bellville was the first law enforcement officer to arrive at Grousehaven Lake in the Rifle River Recreation Area Sunday in response to a report of a missing swimmer.
Nathan Pearson, 32, of Lupton, was known locally for riding his bike to Grousehaven Lake, located in the Rifle River Recreation Area in Ogemaw County. Pearson was swimming alone Sunday evening, outside of the designated swim area, when other swimmers were alerted by a shout and then saw him disappear under the water. Beachgoers searched the water in the area, attempting to locate Pearson until Bellville and other law enforcement agencies arrived.
When Bellville arrived at 7:51 p.m., he was told that Pearson had been underwater for about 15 minutes.
Bellville launched his boat and conducted a search with DNR Parks and Recreation staff, the Roscommon County Sheriff's Department Dive Team, Michigan State Police, the Ogemaw County Sheriff's Department, and the Lupton and Rose City fire departments.
Pearson was located at 2 a.m. Monday in about 14 feet of water.
"It is with deep regret that this situation did not have a better outcome," said Chief Gary Hagler, DNR Law Enforcement Division. "Our thoughts are with the victim's family and friends during this difficult time. I applaud all of the beachgoers and responding agencies who immediately responded to help. This is a strong reminder to always swim with a buddy and to be mindful of designated swim areas."