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Missing hunter’s body found at lake

November 4, 2012 News Extra

FRANKLIN TWP — Divers Sunday afternoon recovered the body of a Prospect man in Lake Arthur — nine days after he disappeared in the water at Moraine State Park, authorities said.

Brian Cornetti’s body was found just 30 feet from the dock at the launch site where he had placed his 12-foot aluminum boat about 10 p.m. Oct. 26.

“We used sonar previously in that area, and on the first day of the search we had guys in the water right there,” said park manager Dan Bickel.

“But the visibility at the lake bottom is just 6 inches. That’s what made it a challenge finding (the body).”

Greensburg Volunteer Fire Department divers found the body about 1:45 p.m. in 7 feet of water, Bickel said.

A short time later, Butler County Deputy Coroner Dennis Trzeciak arrived and pronounced Cornetti dead.

A cause of death was not immediately known.

“But this was definitely an accident,” Bickel said.” No foul play was involved.”

He did not know if there would be an autopsy.

Cornetti lived next to the park with his wife and was a frequent visitor there, authorities said.

Investigators believe Cornetti was planning to go raccoon hunting, a favorite pastime, when his boat momentarily got away from him due to strong winds.

He stripped off his heavy clothing and boots and jumped in after the boat, but was likely overcome by the 50 to 54 degree water temperatures.

On the dock, authorities recovered the clothing he shed.

Park visitors about 8 a.m. Oct. 27 spotted his empty boat drifting some 400 yards from the Route 528 boat launch and notified officials.

Cornetti’s .22-caliber rifle, intended to shoot raccoons, and a life jacket were in the boat. His coon dog was still in the back of his pickup truck on shore at the launch.