Sierra County —On Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 7:23 pm; New Mexico State Parks contacted the New Mexico State Police Dive Team to assist in searching for a submerged subject at Elephant Butte Lake.
Officers from the NMSP Dive team arrived on scene and began the search. At approximately 2:00 am, this morning, a deceased male subject was recovered. Approximate location was fifty feet from the shore, in eight feet of water, near the “Dirt Dam” which is south of the main boat ramp area.
The subject has been identified as 21 year old Rob Allen Vande Zande of Wisconsin. Mr. Vande Zande was a soldier stationed at Fort Bliss, in El Paso Texas.
It appears Mr. Vande Zande was swimming and began to experience problems and could not stay above water. Alcohol is not a factor in this drowning.
Contact: Sergeant Emmanuel Gutierrez