UPDATE: Boy, 17, dies in pond

People comfort one another beside a pond at 499 34 3/4 Road as rescue personnel search for a 17-year-old boy who resurfaced only briefly Saturday as he tried to retrieve his fishing pole.

The teenage victim of Saturday’s accidental drowning on an East Orchard Mesa pond was identified today.

Gabriel “Gabe” C. Hellmann, 17, of Palisade, drowned after he reportedly jumped into a private pond just west of 499 34 3/4 Road to retrieve a fishing pole, according to the Mesa County Coroner’s office.

Hellman’s death was ruled an accidental drowning.

The Mesa County Search and Rescue Dive Team recovered Hellmann’s body Saturday night in water nearly 22-feet deep that was roughly 65 degrees, the Coroner’s office said.

Authorities were first notified of the incident at 3:20 p.m., Saturday.

Hellman, along with a group of friends on inner tubes, had been on the pond since about 9 a.m., Mesa County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Mary Gonzales said. The pond, roughly an acre, was formerly a gravel pit, she added.

According to Mesa County Assessor records, the pond is attached to property owned by Talbott Land and Property.

On Saturday, Kaitlyn Talbott, who said she lives on the five-plus-acre parcel with her parents, Charlie and Brenda Talbott, said Hellmann’s friends told her he’d been under water about 10 minutes by the time she drove up to the home.

Hellmann “said something” after briefly resurfacing before disappearing again, Talbott said. Hellmann was a classmate of hers at Palisade High School.

“He’d already been down here (fishing) several times this year,” Talbott said Saturday.


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