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Teens Missing in Icy Waters of Budd Lake, Prosecutor Says

Area residents said they heard screams for help, but search of lake unsuccessful Monday night.

Two teens remained missing Monday night after multiple agencies searched the icy waters of Budd Lake for hours, the Morris County Prosecutor's Office said.

The search was expected to continue as conditions allowed through the night, Acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric Knapp said.

"There were multiple calls yelling for help," from the lake, Knapp said. "Two local residents attempted to make a rescue in their own boat but were unable."

Mt. Olive Police Cpl. Eric Anthony confirmed the search had yet to yield any results as of about 9 p.m., contradicting an earlier report that one person had been rescued.

"Nobody was removed from the lake," Anthony said. "Incorrect info originally reported."

An earlier report from NJ.com said an individual was removed from the lake at about 7 p.m.

Authorities began to search the area of the lake off Sand Shore Road and Budd Avenue after the initial call came in at 6:19 p.m., Knapp said.

"We're very grateful to our police, fire, and rescue members and those from neighboring towns that came to help," Mt. Olive Mayor Robert Greenbaum. "This is a terrible thing to have to deal with situations with families who have children that are missing."

Just a block from where first responders where entering the lake sits Pavilion Lounge, a bar frequented by locals who were at the watering hole at the time calls came in.

Bartender Christine Stanat said residents told her they heard the teens screaming from the water.

"One of them told me they were screaming 'Help, help, don't let me die,'" Stanat said.

Patrons of the bar said there had been ice fisherman on the lake over the weekend, but said no signs on the conditions or depth of the ice have been posted during the winter for years.

Budd Lake is a natural body of water, Greenbaum said, and is not guarded in any way.

This is a developing story. Patch will continue to update as information becomes available.

DEBBY January 09, 2013 at 04:42 AM
God have mercy upon those two lost souls & help their families get through <3
Denise Novaky January 09, 2013 at 06:39 PM
The griefstricken need only to know that their friends and neighbors stand with them, ready to hold them up when the pain buckles their legs. They need to be asked nothing more than how they can be helped. The people of Mt. Olive are generous and empathic. We are pulling together in solid support of the parents who have lost their babies, the boys and girls who lost a sibling, the teens who lost their friend. The most valuable goal, in my opinion, is for us to support each other as we go forward to make the best of this life. Many great thinkers of the past agreed with that philosophy and added that, if you are unable to help, at least do not harm. Journalists should take a hard look at their behavior when reporting the news. Articles such as those that plaster the last words of deceased children may unfortunately sell the sensation of a tragedy for the moment but ring in the ears of a mother and father for a lifetime.
12345678 January 09, 2013 at 07:27 PM
Beautifully stated Denise. My heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with these families. As for journalist reporting their last words, I wish I hadn't read them myself, caused my heart to break in half. I can't imagine how reading them would make a family member feel. "at least do no harm." Good words to live by.
Joanne January 09, 2013 at 09:33 PM
Thank you Denise. I am sure the vast majority agree with you as do I. If they don't, I don't know what this world is coming to. To the families of the boys....we are praying for you, and many prayer groups from all over have been as well. My hope is that you feel God's love during this tragic time. We all wish we could put our arms around you...so at least in the spirit I hope you can feel it. We are so deeply sorry and we will continue to pray, God bless you.
Joanne January 09, 2013 at 09:35 PM
Amen to that Denise N.

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