MADISON COUNTY, Ind. — Two men, including an Indiana conservation officer, died in an ice fishing accident at a Madison County campground Tuesday.
An Indiana DNR official confirmed that the two men were pulled from the waters at Camp Kikthawenund, located on West County Road 500 North, after police were called to the scene by a family member who became concerned when the two men hadn’t returned after their afternoon fishing trip.
The Madison County Sheriff’s Office identified the men as 44-year-old Ed Bollman and 77-year-old Roger Chezem, both Anderson residents. Investigators said the men weren’t related but referred to them as longtime friends. Bollman was a conservation officer with DNR and was not on duty at the time of the incident.
The initial call came in around 9 p.m., when Chezem’s spouse called to report that he hadn’t returned from his trip, police said. A camp ranger located his truck near the pond but couldn’t locate anyone. The ranger also saw a hole at the center of the pond.
Emergency personnel were dispatched around 9:40 p.m. Officials with the Department of Natural Resources said drones were used during the search and divers eventually recovered both men’s bodies from the pond around 11:50 p.m.
“And this speaks to the heart of all of us who are outdoor lovers in this state and right now our hearts are really hurting,” said Capt. William T. Brown with DNR. “So we want to thank all of our brothers and sisters that came to our aid today, to recover these two men.”
Brown said the search was a collaborative effort involving the local fire and sheriff’s departments, emergency management and other agencies. The case is being investigated as an accident, police said. Autopsies are pending.
Our thoughts are with the colleagues, friends and families of @icohq @icodistrict4 's Sgt. Ed Bollman and his longtime friend Roger Chezem. Both lost their lives this morning in an accident in Madison County. pic.twitter.com/K1br3uGpr9
— Indiana DNR (@INdnrnews) February 14, 2018