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Missing man's body found on birthday

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LEHMAN TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WOLF) -- The body of a missing Nanticoke man has been found in Lake Silkworth on his birthday, six weeks after he went missing.

A special piece of equipment helped find Adam Lutz.

Police say it only took about 20 minutes after their remote-operated vehicle (ROV) went into the water on Friday morning, before it located a body.

"It's a mini-submarine with a full-color camera and sonar," says deputy district attorney Daniel Zola.

A family member later positively identified Adam Lutz, 22, coroner William Lisman said."It's kind of personal because my brother had him on his soccer team in Nanticoke and he was a very nice young man," says search neighbor Joan Matusek.

Rescue crews had been searching for Lutz on and off since Nov. 9.

"We actually were flying air missions over this for the last four weeks, two or three times a week, from our helicopter unit," says PA State Police Troop P crime section commander Lt. Gary Vogue.

"You always wonder when you live on a lake and you know they think that somebody's in there, you think about it a lot," says search neighbor Jack Strichak.

A cord was visible that went from the dock to where the machine stopped by the body, not far off the shore.

"The search did focus on this area at at prior searches and it was the most logical point for us to start our search this morning," says Vogue.

After the discovery, three Germania Hose Co. divers from Duryea carved their way through the ice with big sticks.

"It's very sad for the family, especially the time of the year. It's a little bit of closure, but I feel for them, the whole family," says Gabrielle Henry, daughter of a nearby tavern's owner.

"I'd like to thank all of the volunteer organizations, Germania SCUBA team. They've been outstanding. I know they've logged over 100 hours," says Zola.

Adam would have turned 23 on Friday.

"So near to Christmas and on his birthday, it's a bittersweet thing. They're happy. They thanked us gratefully for all the work that everybody put into this, but at the same time, very sad," says Zola.

Employees at used-car dealership J.D. Byrider in Hanover Township, where Lutz worked, say he was a good guy. Some were allowed to go home early after the discovery.

"I'm glad that there's closure for the family. Terrible around Christmastime like this," says Strichak.

Lisman says an autopsy will be performed on Tuesday, when they hope to learn more about how Lutz died.

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