Body of hunter missing since December found on Brush Lake

Brookings County, SD The Brookings County emergency manager said that the body of a duck hunter who has been missing since December was found Saturday at Brush Lake.

Thomas Hill and his brother Matthew were duck hunting on Brush Lake December 5th. Authorities recovered Matthew's body right away, but Thomas has been missing for months.

Dozens of search crews have been out on the lake for months, vowing not to give up until Thomas was recovered.

This Saturday afternoon around 3:40, authorities say a Brookings County resident was flying a privately owned helicopter over Brush lake when they located the body from the air.

Brookings county officials responded to the call and recovered Hill's body from the lake. He was then transferred to Rude's funeral home.

The Brookings County emergency manager said the Hill and Jennen families have requested to mourn in private at this time. They will release a statement of their own at a later date. They did want to thank everyone for their prayers and also all of the individuals that have assisted in the recovery of their son, brother, fiancée and father, Thomas Hill.

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The search continues on Brush Lake for a duck hunter who has been missing for more than two months.

Matthew and Thomas Hill of Volga went missing on December 5th after their boat capsized while duck hunting on Brush Lake.

Authorities found Matthew right away, but have been unable to find Thomas after months of searching.

"As a family of Christ, we wanted to come together and really pray for the family. Pray for those that are doing the searching that are out here actively looking," said Ron Smith, Pastor at Grace Free Lutheran Church in Bruce, South Dakota.

Friends and family of Thomas Hill gathered before the search resumed on Brush Lake Saturday morning.

"We really want to glorify God through this and have him help the search or rescue and help us know where they are because we really want, especially now, Thomas to come home and be at peace," said family friend, Taylor Martennes.

"It's been really hard. Its been hard on the families, its been hard on the community," said Smith.

"Very hard. Losing them was like losing a best friend. They are not only my friends, just brothers, they're my family and its really hard" said Abigail Hovey, a family friend.

The Hill brothers were a big part of the Volga community.

"So we grew up with the boys and they were like big brothers to us, so that's why we feel it's really important to be out here and be supporting them through the search because they have always been there for us," said Martennes.

"We have our 10 augers on the ice. We started drilling holes at 8:30 and we brought search dogs in at 9:00," said Robert Hill, Brookings County emergency manager.

The months Thomas has been missing have also been difficult on search crews.

"It's extremely difficult. It's a stressful situation for the family and all the first res-ponders. I mean, every first res-ponder that has been out here, we want to find Mr. Hill and we will keep going until we do find him,' said Hill.



 
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