Dirk Kann of Iowa went missing in 1999 during a diving expedition in Lake Michigan. Police were stunned to discover his mummified remains in the lake over the weekend.
"We made numerous attempts through the years to try to recover him with technological advancements," explained Sheriff Terry Vogel. "We used some of that to go down there, but his remains weren't found until Saturday."
Divers recovered Kann's body near a shipwreck in the lake. According to reports, the spot is a popular diving expedition for divers wanting to see the wreckage firsthand. Unfortunately, in 1999, Kann never surfaced after a diving trip with friends.
"That particular shipwreck is what we call a technical dive," Alan Pahnke, owner of Green Bay Scuba, told Fox News. "When it's so deep, you need much more training to go down there than a normal sport driver would. Because of the pressure and depth it's at, there's not a lot of oxygen down there."
Divers were shocked to find Kann's body still inside its wetsuit, with gear still attached. Authorities are not commenting on the condition of Kann's remains, but an autopsy helped identify the body. It's possible that the remains were perfectly preserved, given that there is no oxygen to help the body deteriorate.
"The cold, it's like a refrigerator, it'll keep for quite awhile," Pahnke explained.
Kann's family has not spoken about the discovery, but Michigan and Iowa citizens have expressed their condolences and prayers for the family.
"The thanks need to go to divers from Two Rivers, Wisconsin, who went through an unexpectedly really rough day and closed this chapter for this family. My sympathies to the family of Mr. Kann," Garrett van Dreel posted on Fox's website.
"The divers who recovered the body are to be commended for their amazing effort. I hope the family can now have complete closure," added Mac Robertson.