A group of kids made an unusual discovery when they found a 12 gauge shotgun in the Flambeau River while swimming near the walking bridge in Park Falls July 17.
The firearm was turned in to the Park Falls Police Department, where law enforcement reviewed local missing gun cases.
Investigator Robert Hawn of the Price County Sheriff’s Department is now leading an ongoing investigation into the recovered firearm, which is tentatively believed to be one of 13 guns stolen from a Town of Fifield residence in January 2013. Police believe that burglary was linked to a string of similar burglaries in the Park Falls and Fifield area that year, which led to the convictions of two men on theft of movable property violations. One man was also found guilty of burglary and the other found guilty of bail jumping.
The burglary of the Fifield residence, however, was never closed and the 13 stolen firearms were never recovered.
Hawn said the Sheriff’s Department is still waiting for official confirmation from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — the federal agency charged in part with preventing the illegal use and trafficking of firearms — whether or not the shotgun found in the river is one of the 13 guns originally stolen.