1934: Man Thought a Suicide Turns Up Alive After Rescuers Spend a Day Dragging the Lake

From the Nobles County Times, June 1934:
Drag All Day For Body of Live Man
Phillip Ahrens of Wilmont starts suicide hunt, turns up alive

Four or five boatloads of men fruitlessly dragged the bay between town and the Ludlow Orchards Friday, in searching for the body of Phillip Ahrens, son of Mr. and Mrs. Matt Ahrens of Wilmont, whose car, containing clothing and a note, was found parked on the south shore of Lake Okabena that morning, after the parents had come to Worthington to enlist aid in finding their son, who failed to come home Thursday night.

Ahrens’ shoes, found by a large rock at the water’s edge, lent further color to the suicide theory.

Directed by Sheriff Elden Rowe, the search commenced. It continued throughout the day, employing various means, including the use of a large seine, which brought up loads of fish, but no body.

Late in the afternoon a halt was called, to await the rising of the body, which it was believed would be soon, owing to the warmth of the water.

The hoax was revealed on Friday night, when Ahrens called up his parents from Sioux City, asking them to meet an early morn-ing train Saturday.

It is reported that he staged the stunt because of a quarrel with his sweetheart.

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