Family Blames Red Lake Resort for Death of 2 Anglers

CHRISTINA PALLADINO - FOX 9

(FOX 9) – Two families are mourning the loss of their children after divers pulled the bodies of a young man and woman who were ice fishing on Red Lake.

Now, family members say the resort should be held partly responsible for their son’s death.

The Stacy, Minnesota family just celebrated their son Zeth’s 28th birthday on Thanksgiving when he left to go ice fishing up north with his friend Melissa.

His family says conditions on Red Lake are bad because of the warm weather and the resort just let their son go out anyway. Rogers’ on Red has since closed its lake access and told anglers to avoid going out on the lake until further notice.

“When you have to identify your frozen boy – it’s not right, it’s horrible,” Terry Knyphausen said, distraught as he recalls divers pulling his son’s body out of the lake on Monday.

Zeth went ice fishing with his friend Melissa Siedenstricker, over the holiday weekend and went under the water on his ATV.

“They should be held accountable because this isn’t right. I lost my son for a resort to make extra money, and it’s not right,” he said.

Zeth and Melissa had rented an ice shack from Rogers’ on Red, a popular resort up north. They were last seen on Saturday talking with the owner about some bad ice conditions on Red Lake.

The resort posted photos on their Facebook page of a six-foot-side crack in the ice along with maps they’ve been handing out to people warning them of the danger.

Owner Chris Freudenberg spoke with Fox 9 over the phone and said he doesn’t know why the two drove their ATV near the open water.

“Currently we’ve done everything we can to identify cracks, major issue areas outside of our resort or zone,” he said.

Freudenberg said the main area on the resort has nine inches of solid ice, and nearly 1,400 people fished in that zone this weekend.

“Most of our customers stayed back,” he said.

But Zeth’s family said the warnings aren’t enough. They feel it’s too dangerous for the resort to even be open right now.

“You’re taking someone’s money and, in return, you took our son’s life. We can’t get that back, you can make all the money you want, but our son is not coming back ever,” Terry said.