A Grand Forks man apparently drowned in Devils Lake this week, according to Ramsey County Sheriff Steve Nelson.
Douglas Almquist, 62, was found in the lake around 7 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 17, near a resort by a resort employee. Investigating officers believe the man was fishing, and he last made contact with someone via phone at 9 the night before his body was found. But with no witnesses and no cameras in the area, Nelson said they may never know how Almquist ended up in the water.
Foul play is not suspected, and Almquist doesn't appear to have suffered from any medical issues, according to a medical examiner's ruling.
"We're just as baffled as you are," Nelson said.
Nelson said Almquist can be seen on surveillance footage parking his car in the afternoon and making his way down to the dock where he was fishing. It's roughly a 15-foot descent to the dock, and there are no cameras on the water's edge. No one else can be seen on the available security footage, and no one else was believed to have been in the area when Almquist died.
"We don't know what happened, or how he got in the water, or why," Nelson said. "Whether he tripped and fell and couldn't get back up. ... We're pretty sure it's not a medical issue at this point."
Drownings in the area are rare, Nelson said. He recalled two duck hunters whose boat capsized on the lake in high winds and drowned more than 15 years ago, but he doesn't believe there have been any drowning incidents since then.
Almquist is survived by multiple children who do not live in the area, and a sister-in-law who lives in Grand Forks. He was preceded in death by his wife, according to Nelson.