TOWN OF FALLSBURG, NY — On February 27, at approximately 8:15 p.m., the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office received a call from an individual in New York City who was concerned that she was …
TOWN OF FALLSBURG, NY — On February 27, at approximately 8:15 p.m., the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office received a call from an individual in New York City who was concerned that she was unable to reach her parents. The Sheriff’s Office asked the Town of Fallsburg Police to check the parents’ residence at Foxcroft Village in Loch Sheldrake.
When the Fallsburg Police advised that no one was home, an extensive search of the local area ensued. The daughter advised that her parents may have gone ice fishing at around 1:00 p.m.. Police checked numerous lakes and ponds in the local area during the evening’s intense snowstorm. On February 28, at about 2:40 a.m., a deputy located the couple’s 2021 Nissan Murano near a pond on Hutrat Road off RT-52 between Loch Sheldrake and Woodbourne. Deputies could see ice fishing tip-ups out on the pond but there was no sign of the missing couple. The Loch Sheldrake Fire Department was called to the scene but thin ice prevented rescuers from venturing out onto the pond.
At daybreak, the Sullivan County Fire Coordinator’s Office responded with equipment to facilitate the search. Sheriff’s deputies used a drone to inspect the pond and spotted an area of open water near the tip-ups. New York State Police divers responded and recovered two bodies that were submerged in about 10 feet of water approximately 100 feet from the shore. The two victims have been identified as Viktor Nikitin, age 63 and Svetlana Nikitin, age 70, both of Loch Sheldrake. They were pronounced dead at the scene by Sullivan County Coroner Elton Harris. The official cause of death is pending an autopsy.
Sheriff Mike Schiff said, “The cooperative effort of all agencies brought this tragic event to a timely conclusion despite the extreme weather conditions.”
The sheriff reminds residents that, “we have had a stretch of warm weather and the ice on our lakes and ponds is not that thick. Use extreme caution and always let someone know where you are going.”
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