Oneida County confirms deaths of missing Lincoln County teens
Oneida County Sheriff’s Captain Terri Hook gestures toward the area where two bodies were discovered Monday in the town of Enterprise.
By Eileen Persike
RHINELANDER – The bodies of two teenagers, missing from Lincoln County since early Sunday were discovered yesterday in the Oneida County Forest in the town of Enterprise.
Oneida County Sheriff’s Captain Terri Hook confirmed the deaths Tuesday afternoon of Aiden Grefe, 17, and Dakota Brown, 16, both students at Merrill High School.
Hook said she would not go into detail but, exposure was likely a factor in their deaths.
“Obviously, everybody knows what the weather was like this weekend, it went from being really warm to really cold and they got caught in it,” said Hook, who added that at this time there doesn’t seem to be any foul play involved.
A lot of different resources were involved in the search.
“You can see that this is a very vast forest and without these resources it would have been even more difficult that it was [to find them],” Hook said Tuesday.
“We know where they started and then we believe we had some other information that was kind of leading us in different directions and that’s why we had such a vast area to search,” Hook added. “You can see, some of these are trails and some are logging roads so there a lot of area out there. And they’re young people, and can walk well.”
Numerous fire departments (Fire District Alfa, Crescent, Corning, Merrill, Newbold, Pine River and Russell fire and first responders and Tomahawk fire departments) National Guard plane, a helicopter, Department of Natural Resources, Wisconsin Emergency management, dogs from Newbold Search and Rescue, Oneida County Forestry Department, maps provided by Oneida County Land Records, UTV and ATV Trail Patrol; the Rosewood Barn and Derek’s Town and Country provided shelter and refreshments for those involved. Deputies were assisted by the Rhinelander Police Department and the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission.
The investigation is ongoing. Both Oneida and Lincoln counties are working together to determine the circumstances surrounding the teens’ deaths.
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