Police: Body of missing snowmobiler from Swanton located

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SWANTON — Late this morning, search and rescue crews located a body in the water near the location where a snowmobile operated by 39-year-old Michael Rich of Swanton was found abandoned.

Rich went missing while snowmobiling late Monday afternoon, near the border of Highgate and Swanton.

The body was recovered and this afternoon was positively identified as that of Rich.

An autopsy will be conducted at the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington to determine the cause and manner of death.

State police were contacted at about 6:50 p.m. Monday by Rich’s girlfriend.

She reported that Rich and a friend, Rahel Barrows, 51, had been out snowmobiling when their sleds went through the ice on a creek near Lake Champlain at about 4:15 p.m. in the vicinity of Platt Road in Highgate.

Both individuals were able to get out of the water and reach a vacant nearby camp.

Rich eventually made his way to the home of his girlfriend, where he retrieved another snowmobile and set off in the direction of the camp.

That snowmobile was later found abandoned with its hood up near the original break in the ice.

Troopers from the St. Albans barracks along with fire and rescue personnel began a search of the area and located Barrows unhurt in the cabin.

Search efforts continued overnight and ended today when his body was discovered.

Police say they are still investigating this incident.