Authorities say Virginia man Likely Drowned on Chippewa Flowage

Official Autopsy Results are Pending

SAWYER COUNTY, Wis. – According to the Sawyer County Sheriff’s Office, an adult male reported missing on July 4 was found deceased near Big Timber Island.

Officials say 20-year-old Gage James Backstrom of Arlington, Virginia was found around 9:00 a.m. Friday deceased, floating in the water without a personal flotation device.

The Sawyer County Sheriff’s Office says they received a report just after 12:00 a.m. on Thursday of a missing adult male on the Chippewa Flowage.

The caller reported that Backstrom was camping on an island in the eastern part of the Chippewa Flowage. Upon arrival, deputies found a boat rented by Backstrom, a campsite with a tent and personal belongings including Backstrom’s cellphone.

Initial search efforts by the Sawyer County Search & Rescue, Sawyer County Dive Time, Wisconsin DNR, and LCO Tribal Game Wardens were suspended around 5:30 p.m. on July 4 with Backstrom not yet located.

Search efforts were resumed on July 5 at 9:00 a.m. and Backstrom’s body was located at 10:03 a.m. in the water near Big Timber Island.

Authorities say initial indications show Backstrom was a drowning victim. Results of the official autopsy are pending.

Categories: News, News – Latest News, Wisconsin