MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Authorities say that they recovered the body of a man Monday who was reportedly trying to help a struggling swimmer at Lake Minnetonka.

Chef Christina Nguyen, of northeast Minneapolis restaurant Hai Hai, announced on Instagram Monday that the victim is Deveric “DJ” Stokes, who served there as sous chef. She described him as “big-hearted, kind … and a chef that put soul into whatever he cooked.”

(credit: Christina Nguyen/Instagram)

Stokes had been missing since Thursday evening. The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office says he and two women went into the water to help a woman who fell into the lake from a pontoon.

Investigators say the three women were able to make it back aboard the pontoon, but Stokes did not.

Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson says an underwater recovery team found his body in about 55 feet of water Monday afternoon.

“Every drowning death is a tragedy. It’s especially sad when someone loses their life attempting to save another,” Hutchinson said. Our sincerest condolences go out to the friends and family.”

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Stokes’ family with funeral expenses.

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