Resort community dealing with loss of 3

Published 10:20 am Tuesday, October 13, 2015

BAUDETTE — Residents of a small resort community near the Canadian border say the loss of three young men in the Lake of the Woods is puzzling because all were fishing guides who were familiar with the changing waters.

Justin Haugtvedt, Cody Ostendorf and Keith Ayers worked in Baudette, a community of 1,100 that calls itself the ‘Walleye Capital of the World.’ Haugtvedt’s close friend, Josh Hamm, says he’s heartbroken and wonders why they left Sunset Resort just after midnight Oct. 3 in a 16-foot boat under windy conditions.

The bodies of Haugtvedt and Ostendorf have been recovered from the lake. High wind and rain ended Monday’s search for Ayers. All men were in their 20s.

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Retina LaValla, who works at Wigwam Resort, tells the Star Tribune “everybody’s hurting” with the loss of the three friends.