Victims pulled from vehicle inside icy pond identified

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ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – Police are investigating after emergency crews pulled a car out of a frozen pond Monday night.

Two men were found dead inside the car, according to the Allen County Coroner. The men have been identified as Tony L. Frecker, 32 of New Haven and Luke Gerardot, 35 of Monroeville.

Autopsies showed that the men both drowned.

According to a friend, Frecker parked his car at Maples Inn, which is located at the intersection of Franke and Hoagland Road Saturday.

Gerardot and Frecker traveled to another bar in Gerardot’s car about 10 miles away.

The two families became worried when they found Frecker’s truck still at Maples Inn but there was no sign of either men. They asked for the public’s help finding them on social media.

There was no sign of them or the car they were in until Monday night. Captain Steve Stone said someone spotted tire tracks on the ground and pieces of a vehicle near a pond on Hoagland Road. That is when Stone said someone called 911.

Emergency crews responded around 9 p.m. to the 5600 block of Hoagland Road, just west of US 27 between Hoagland and Poe.

When they arrived, they found a car submerged in a frozen pond. First responders had to use a chain saw to cut a hole in the ice to get to the car.

Divers from the Department of Natural Resources were later called to the scene. They went into the frigid water and hooked chains to the car to pull it out.

Investigators determined the vehicle had been in the water for more than 24 hours before it was discovered.

The Allen County Sheriff’s Department is expected to provide more details as the investigation continues.

According to the Allen County Highway Department there have been six crashes on that curvy stretch of Hoagland Road from 2010-2016. Only four of the crashes have resulted in injuries.

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