Police: 'Something went wrong' on ice that should have been thick enough for fishing

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MADISON COUNTY, Ind. (WTHR) - Authorities say the ice may have been crumbling beneath the surface when two men fell through Tuesday night. Their bodies were recovered after a lengthy search.

It happened where the men were fishing at Camp Kikthawenund, which is northwest of Anderson.

Investigators say the ice those men fell through was about four inches thick. Under normal conditions, that would be thick enough to be safe for ice fishing, but this time, something may have gone wrong.

"The ice had deteriorated," said Madison County Sheriff's Department Lt. Darwin Dwiggins. "The diver used the term it had 'honeycombed,' it had little pits in the ice, so obviously the ice wasn’t as strong as the two men expected it to be."

Conservation officers made a troubling discovery on Tuesday night. They found the body of one of their own, DNR Sgt. Ed Bollman, after he fell through the ice. They say mild temperatures may have had a major impact on the condition of the ice.

Bollman, 44, had been fishing with Roger Chezem, a longtime friend. Chezem also fell through the ice. No one else was around to see or hear what happened leading up to the incident but Madison County deputies are working on the investigation that involves someone they know.

"He did help us tremendously in 2012, in a murder case where there was a lot of ground searching we did that summer," said Dwiggins. "Well-respected officer in the community and all the law enforcement agencies in the area, we work closely together."

It took a dive team about three hours to find the men in water about 20 feet deep. Now they're left searching for answers they may never find.

"It's just a tragic loss," said Dwiggins. "Not only for him, but the other gentleman’s family, it’s just as tragic. Two families have lost a loved one and are feeling the same feelings and both lives were valuable."

With recent warmer temperatures, investigators say it’s probably safer to stay off the ice for the next few days.

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