The body of a man was found in Lake Austin Monday morning near a Steiner Ranch boat ramp. Investigators spent the day trying to determine if what happen was a horrific accident was or if it was an intentional act.
Marine Police blocked river access to the Quinlan Park boat ramp, Monday morning, as a heavy duty tow truck slowly pulled a tan sedan to the shore line. The body of the driver, initially identified only as a white male, was located earlier by a boater who called 911.
"And when we were idling out we see something floating and when we started to get up close to it it's a body."
Dispatcher: "Can you see the roof of the car, or is it underwater?"
"No, it's totally underwater, the roof is about 3 feet down ... it may be in about 8 feet of water I guess"
Dale Glasenapp had put in just before the discovery was made.
"He backed out and apparently the car was 25 to 30 feet right there," said Glasenapp.
The driver side window was down when the car was pulled out. That could explain why the body was found floating near the spot where the car had sunk. While there are no signs of recent skid marks – investigators could not immediately determine if the car was driven into the lake on purpose or by accident. At the time, there was nothing to indicate this might have been a suicide, and according to lead APD investigator, David Fugitt, there were no visible signs of any trauma to the body.
"Still too early to tell, nothing that was readily apparent," said Fugitt.
Late Monday afternoon, APD officials issued a statement that the death "does not appear to be suspicious." That apparently eliminated foul play the statement did not resolve whether or not the incident was intentional or accidental.
Next to the ramp is the Lake Austin Spa. While investigators questioned staff and managers, Steiner Ranch residents like Mara Brown wondered if it was a neighbor or a stranger who had been taken by the lake.
"It's usually pretty peaceful down there, never seen police or anybody," said Brown.
It is not the first time someone has driven down Quinlan Park Rd and into Lake Austin. A warning sign was installed after a fatal accident in 2009.