Missing Baker Lake man's body found after sonar search

A sonar team from Minnesota has recovered the body of a Baker Lake man who had been missing since this July.

Solomon Tulurialik, 29, was boating on Baker Lake on July 31 when he ran out of gas and attempted to swim to shore. He never made it.

Nunavut RCMP confirmed Monday morning that Crossmon Consulting LLC, which was brought in by the community, made the recovery.

Tom Crossmon owns the consulting services, which is based in Duluth, MN. He said his team arrived last Wednesday evening and found Tulurialik's body under about 99 feet of water on Friday, after more than five hours of searching.

A community member raised about $4,000 US to bring Crossmon and his partner in for the search. The money covered the cost of travel — Crossmon Consulting performed the search for free.

The team used a marine sonar technology that can scan a 200-foot swath of lake-bed at a time. Once Tulurialik was found, the team sent a remotely operated vehicle down to recover his body.

Ben Comley/RCMP

Crossmon said his team's arrival was kept secret from the family, primarily to avoid getting their hopes up in case the search wasn't successful. But once the recovery was complete, he said he got an invitation to meet Tulurialik's loved ones, who were "quite surprised and extremely happy" to hear the news.

"We shared in some hugs," said Crossmon.

RCMP say the coroner has been notified, and is now leading the case.

Search suspended earlier this summer

RCMP say the search for Tulurialik was suspended in August after an "exhaustive search," which included a specialized dive team from Manitoba. 

Community members raised thousands for the effort. At the time, Baker Lake deputy mayor Karen Yip described the man as a hockey coach with a young family.

"He is a very well-liked and admired community member," she said.

More than 200 people aided in the search, which included Baker Lake's search and rescue. Agnico Eagle, which owns the nearby Meadowbank mine, also helped, by offering aerial search and underwater cameras.