Following an intense search with an outpouring of volunteers, the Manitoba RCMP is now sharing what they believe happened to 50-year-old Danny Lemay.
The search for Lemay in Whiteshell Provincial Park has been called off as of 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Two reports of seeing a lone rider led aerial searchers to an area of open water on Eleanor Lake. Trained ice rescue technicians from the Office of the Fire Commissioner then arrived to search.
Following snowmobile tracks leading to the lake, they saw broken ice and no tracks leading away from the open water.
The RCMP believes Lemay fell through the ice and drowned while riding.
"Searchers believe Lemay entered the water and did not resurface. He is presumed drowned," RCMP Manitoba says in a statement, noting that after exhaustive searches there was no other evidence of Lemay in the area.
In the spring, a dive time will return to search for Lemay's remains, the RCMP says.
The Grunthal man had been missing since 9:30 p.m. Sunday after calling in, saying he was lost but believed he was a 10-minute ride from Pinewood Lodge. Two hours earlier he called saying he was running low on gas. After 11:30 p.m., Lac du Bonnet RCMP was called.
RCMP Search and Rescue, along with the Office of the Fire Commissioner, a plane, and a helicopter were part of the search, along with droves of volunteers.
Initially, the search was a rescue mission. RCMP Sergeant Paul Manaigre was hoping Lemay had set up camp. While searching overnight, RCMP had to ask people to stop, as the dark conditions and open water areas were too dangerous for riders.
RCMP and volunteers searched over 160 square kilometres for two days.