Body recovered in search for missing Hancock County snowmobiler

By Tom Walsh, BDN Staff
Posted Jan. 21, 2012, at 4:05 p.m.

WALTHAM, Maine — The search for a missing snowmobiler that began Friday afternoon ended Saturday afternoon when Maine Warden Service divers discovered the body of Matthew Divello, 49, of Mariaville, in icy waters off the shoreline of Eagle Island in Hancock County’s Graham Lake.

Divello was reported overdue late Friday afternoon by his wife, who notified the Mariaville Volunteer Fire Department. She said her husband was driving a black 2003 Arctic Cat snowmobile and was last seen wearing a black helmet, a black winter jacket and black snowmobile pants.

The search that involved about 50 people began about 5 p.m. on Friday and ended mid-afternoon on Saturday, when Divello’s body was brought to shore at a staging area in Waltham, within the Oxbow Point Subdivision on Peaceful Point Road.

Four Maine Warden Patrol divers were ferried by two airboats to Eagle Island after a low-level air search of the shallow reservoir on Saturday morning came across an area of broken ice.

Icy winds and light snow hampered the search, with blowing snow filling any tracks that Divello’s snowmobile may have created. Wardens and volunteers searched near snowmobile access points to the lake but were being cautious Friday night about going onto the lake itself.

Maine Warden Service Sgt. Ralph Hosford said Friday evening that man-made Graham Lake is not considered a prime lake for sowmobiling due to brook and stream influences and surface snags. The search that resumed Saturday morning involved two airboats, a hovercraft and snowmobiles.

Maine Warden Service Lt. Kevin Adams said Divello’s body was recovered in a matter of minutes from where it was found submerged in 10 feet of water. The snowmobile remains at the bottom of Graham Lake, its location marked with a buoy for later recovery, Adams said.

Adams said he notified Divello’s spouse of the discovery. The couple has four children.

The spot where Divello’s snowmobile went through the ice is approximately three miles from his Mariaville home. Eagle Island is approximately five miles north of the Union River dam that creates the shallow reservoir used to power the downstream Union River hydroelectric dam in Ellsworth.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/01/21/news/hancock/body-recovered-in-search-for-missing-hancock-county-snowmobiler/ printed on September 22, 2014