Two Boaters Vanish
July 31, 2005 – Madison, WI
At about 4;15 p.m. a 17-foot Larson, open-bow fiberglass Boat is found floating near Warner Beach on Lake Mendota with no one on board. The boat's keys are in the ignition, the radio is playing, the ladder is down and a T-shirt is on the boat's deck.

The boats owner, Darren Mellor of Brooklyn, and his friend, Christopher Dickinson of Ridgeway, who left for a day of boating, are presumed drowned. There are no signs that they were drinking.

For weeks on end, the families searched the lake and kept a vigil at the Warner Park boat launch, near where the empty boat was found drifting. They vowed to be there every day until the men are found. Both families were there the evening Mellor’s body was found, grieving for one son and waiting for the other. "We'll be out here until he's found". The families have grown close during their ordeal. "We're still out here because there's still one man out there in the water. Until we get Chris out of there, it's not over" Many people that they don't even know have stopped by the lakeshore to offer words of encouragement and hope to the families.

On October 12, 2005 Darren Mellor’s body was spotted floating near Spring Harbor Beach (Lake Mendota Drive). An autopsy revealed he had drowned.

Christopher Dickinson was never found

Darren Mellor (25)
Christopher Dickinson (25)