A Kuna couple who specializes in underwater sonar searches has located and recovered the body of 21-year-old Christian V. Dale, who fell into Lucky Peak in late July.
Ada County Sheriff’s Office marine patrol deputies had been searching for Dale since July 29, when he fell off the back of a boat near Gooseneck Bay in Lucky Peak and didn’t come back up.
Kuna residents Gene and Sandy Ralston, who specialize in underwater side-scan sonar searches and often assist law enforcement in recovery efforts with their specialized equipment, were able to locate the body, which was almost 200 feet down by the bottom of the reservoir, early Friday morning.
The Ralstons were then able use a remote-controlled unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) to recover the body.
Deputies have been working on the case since just after 9 p.m. on July 29, when they got a report that a man fell off a moving boat that night.
There were nine people on the boat at the time. They told deputies they had been on the water most of the day and were on their way to the boat ramp at Barclay Bay when a hat flew out of the boat near Gooseneck Bay.
When the driver of the boat turned to go retrieve the hat, Dale fell off the bow where he had been sitting. He was not wearing a life jacket.
The people in the boat immediately began searching for Dale but did not see him, so they drove to the Spring Shores Marina to call for help.
Ada County Sheriff’s marine patrol deputies arrived a short time later to search the water, while helicopter pilots searched the reservoir and shoreline with infrared technology in case the 21-year-old had been able to swim to shore and get out of the water.
Deputies continued the search over the next few days using sonar. They also used an unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) to search the area from above but were not able to locate Dale.
The search was suspended until Friday morning, when Ralston was available to help. It took about two hours to find and then recover the body Friday morning.
The Ada County Coroner’s Office will determine the cause and manner of death.
The case is still under investigation. No charges or citations have been issued at this time. The other nine people on the boat when Dale fell over have cooperated fully with investigators.
We would like to thank Gene and Sandy Ralston, and their company, Ralston & Associates, for their help.