Carver County Sheriff’s deputies have narrowed their search for Andrew John Stifter to the southeast quadrant of Lake Waconia. They are preparing to continue the search if he is not found before ice forms on the lake.
Tuesday morning (Dec. 6), Carver County Sheriff Chief Deputy Jason Kamerud said the search of land around the lake has been effectively completed. A team of deputies using sonar from a boat is searching the southeast section of the lake. The lake is 10 to 12 feet deep in the area.

Divers will only enter the water if the sonar indicates the potential of Stifter’s body being located, Kamerud said.
Should divers be unable to find Stifter, 35, before ice forms on the lake, the crews will “change their tactics” and search the lake using probes and cameras inserted through holes cut into the ice. Kamerud said the underwater search would be somewhat easier because the clarity of the water improves and underwater vegetation lays down after ice covers the surface.
The search for Stifter began Saturday afternoon (Nov. 26) after a caller informed deputies she saw an unoccupied paddleboard about 100 feet off the shoreline. Deputies arrived and learned Stifter, 35, had gone to Lake Waconia to photograph wildlife from his paddleboard. Sheriff’s deputies could see Stifter’s paddleboard offshore, but could not see Stifter. Deputies were able to go out to the paddleboard on a patrol boat and observed the paddleboard was upright and anchored, with a personal flotation device tethered to the front of the board. The deputies began their search efforts for Stifter.
Deputies have searched over the lake using unmanned aerial cameras and Minnesota State Patrol helicopters. Carver County Sheriff’s deputies recovered property believed to belong to Stifter, but were unable to find Stifter during Monday’s (Nov. 28) search.