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UPDATE: Body of missing UW-River Falls student found

River Falls firefighters joined in Monday’s missing person search on the walkway of east side of Lake George. Robert Sontag's body was found a few hours later, below the dam.1 / 6
River Falls firefighter Doug Rudesill, at the bow of an air boat, looks down into the waters of Lake George. Behind Rudesill are sheriff’s deputies. This was the second day of the missing person search for a UW-River Falls student who disappeared predawn Friday2 / 6
Pierce County deputies ready the launch of an air boat to propel and float along the banks of Lake George Monday morning, May 4. 3 / 6
River Falls Police, Fire and the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department have set up a command center in the back lot of Family Fresh Market for the search of a missing college student.4 / 6
Missing UWRF student Robert Sontag was last seen on South Main Street at 2 a.m. Friday.5 / 6
Former River Falls police officer and current local firefighter Doug Rudesill looks through binoculars toward the upper dam during Monday’s search. To his upper left on Lake George is the sheriff’s air boat with deputies aboard.6 / 6

Day two of the search for 20-year-old Robert “Bobby” S. Sontag resulted in the discovery of his body on the Kinnickinnic River below the upper dam.

Sontag’s body was found around 1 p.m. Monday, May 4, a day after he had been reported missing and a search to find him had begun.

According to River Falls police, a wallet with a photo I.D. and other documentation was found on the body that helped identify Sontag.

An investigation into the circumstances of his death is ongoing.

River Falls police say Sontag, a UWRF student, was last seen in the area of the 400 block of South Main Street around 2 a.m. Friday.

He didn’t show up for college classes Friday and wasn’t seen or heard from since. His pickup truck wasn’t moved.

His disappearance was first reported to police Sunday at 3 p.m.

Sontag was last seen walking home from a bar with a friend. The two then went their separate ways.

Authorities believe alcohol was involved in Sontag’s disappearance.

Police and firefighters began searching for the young man later Sunday afternoon. Firefighters went out on Lake George in a boat to look.

Those efforts were interrupted by a thunderstorm but resumed before being called off because of darkness.

Monday morning they started again with help from Pierce County Sheriff deputies and the use of a quieter air boat.

Deputies in the boat peered into the waters of Lake George and the river, looking for a body. A sonar device was submerged as part of the search effort.

Other officers and firefighters were posted along the upper dam by the old power plant. A body below was finally spotted from a distance and a group descended the cliff to just below the dam.

Sontag was a junior majoring in dairy science at UWRF.

UWRF has counseling services available to students, located in Hagestad Hall. 
Phil Pfuehler
Phil Pfuehler has been editor of the River Falls Journal since 1991.
(715) 426-1050
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