Searchers recovered the body of 15-year-old Clyde Schimanski III from the freezing water around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. The body of Schimanski’s friend, 14-year-old Nick Ciancotto, was found Tuesday afternoon.
Around 6:19 p.m. Monday, police received multiple calls reporting cries for help coming from the ice over Budd Lake.
“Thank God that we finally have closure for the second family,” Mount Olive Mayor Robert Greenbaum tweeted Wednesday.
According to reports, the boys had been riding bicycles at the time of the accident, when the ice began to crack beneath them. Witnesses call 9-1-1, but by the time rescuers reached the lake they were unable to find the boys in the darkness.
Clyde’s stepmother, Lynn O’Brien, who had raised the boy since he was 8 years old, was distraught Tuesday when one son came home and the other did not.“I tell them all the time, all the time, ‘Don’t go on the lake,’ but Clyde told me I can stand up it’s so shallow.”
Those were the last words she exchanged with her stepson before he fell through thin ice on the Morris County Lake Monday evening.
Locals say the ice on the lake is deceptive. Amanda Shaw who graduated from Mt. Olive High weighed in on the tragedy. “I do think the boys were mislead. There was an ATV on the lake, people playing hockey and ice skating. They wanted to go and have their own fun they didn’t think it was going to happen to them.”
Betty Marcus, who’s lived at Budd Lake for nearly a decade said there are no safety measures in place, that all those who ice fish or use the lake do so at their own risk. She saw the two boys on bikes Monday having fun, but it gave her a sense of unease. “When I looked out on the lake and saw the birds and the water moving I thought, ‘I wouldn’t be out on the lake.’”
Friends and families have been gathering at a candlelight vigil at Budd Lake Chapel on Sand Shore Rd. waiting for news of the missing boys.
Budd Lake does not have any signs warning to stay off the ice, nor any official town agency to determine if it is even safe to be on the lake. As one resident described it, it’s a “use at your risk” proposition.