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Body recovered from lake

A Surrey real estate agent's body has been recovered from Osoyoos Lake, following a tragic accident Aug 1.

43-year-old John Mele was on vacation with his family, on the Washington State side of Osoyoos Lake, when he disappeared under the lake while taking a swim.

According to the RCMP, Mele dove into the water from a boat and failed to resurface after he experienced a medical issue. The Province newspaper reports Mele had a posterior fossa intracranial brain tumour that “was large enough that it most likely caused him to lose consciousness in the water, as it was pressing against his brain stem,” according to the autopsy report.

The Okanogan County Sheriff’s Department attended the scene and conducted a dive search but were unable to locate his body.

At the request of the family, the Sheriff’s Department contacted the BC RCMP to see if they would be able to assist with the search.

After obtaining the proper clearances to cross the border, members of the BC RCMP Dive Team reached the lake August 3 and were able to able to locate Mele using RCMP underwater sonar equipment.

“While we routinely work with our law enforcement partners in the United States on operational and criminal files, assisting with this type of request is unusual. We are thankful the RCMP was able to assist in locating Mr. Mele to help his family find closure,” says RCMP Superintendent Tim Head, Acting District Commander, Southeast District.

The Province reports that Mele had recently celebrated his 43rd birthday before going on vacation. “The father of three is remembered as a well-loved realtor in the area who also occasionally stepped in as assistant coach for his son’s little league baseball team, the 9-10 Selects,” reports The Province.

The celebration of life service for John Mele, open to the public, will be at South Surrey’s Peace Portal Church on Wednesday, Aug. 20, at 3 p.m.

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