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Article published December 3, 2013
Body found in lake suspected to be missing man
MUDDY TWP — A special underwater camera used Tuesday to locate a body in Lake Arthur was donated to Moraine State Park by the family of the man who searchers believe they found. Officials are waiting for the Butler County Coroner’s office to determine the identity of the man found in the lake Tuesday afternoon. But Jake Weiland, the park’s assistant manager, said the body was found in about 8 feet of water near the Route 422 bridge. Days earlier searchers found the pickup truck of 62-year-old Nicholas Sopel Jr. of Butler Township. In the truck, authorities found his wallet, keys and eyeglasses. In the 20 days since Sopel’s family reported him missing, Weiland said searchers from many rescue and recovery teams have made attempts to find him. Tuesday’s fair weather, coupled with the newly donated camera, made search conditions favorable. Weiland said the body that was recovered was dressed in clothing similar to that Sopel was known to wear. “We are fairly confident it was the person we were searching for,” he said. “But we are waiting for confirmation.”