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Anguish as fire chief’s son found dead at bottom of lake: Investigation

by Ellen Killoran

The young man went for a walk by himself and never returned

The search for the missing son of  the San Bernandino County fire chief has come to a tragic end: Dawson Hartwig was found dead in Lake Arrowhead on Sunday.

According to the San Bernardino County Sun, Hartwig, 20, had joined friends for a mountain getaway at Lake Arrowhead this weekend. On Friday afternoon, he reportedly went for a walk by himself, and did not bring his cellphone. He was not properly dressed for cold temperatures. His friends reportedly contacted the Twin Peaks Sheriff Station at approximately 10:45 a.m the next morning to report Hartwig missing.

After a massive search, Hartwig’s body was found early Sunday morning, about 30 feet underwater in Lake Arrowhead. By Saturday night, the temperature had dropped to 35 degrees.

The Sheriff’s Dive team leader, Bryan Lane, shared his condolences on Twitter. “The Sheriff’s Dive Team sends our deepest condolences to the Hartwig family,” he wrote. “Fire and Sheriff are one big family and we all feel your loss.”

Dawson’s father, San Bernandino County Fire Chief also shared a message about his son on Twitter:

The investigation is ongoing, and a cause of death has not yet been released.

Ellen is a seasoned journalist and former media & entertainment reporter with a taste for true crime. Formerly a senior editor at IBTimes, her work has appeared in Forbes, Rolling Stone, Maxim, NYMag, Indiewire, and more. She co-produced the HBO documentary "Youth Knows No Pain" and appeared in a documentary series that aired alongside the Lifetime movie "Manson's Lost Girls."