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orwell, vt. — vermont state police and new york state police searched sunday for two missing snowmobilers in lake champlain in the area of chipman point in orwell and putnam station, n.y.

the missing snowmobilers, identified as jonathan ryan, 32 of shoreham and brandon barrett, 23 of benson, were reported missing thursday night.

police said friends of the pair found their truck and trailer parked at benson landing where it was evident the pair rode onto the lake with separate snowmobiles and traveled north during the late afternoon/early evening thursday.

information gathered indicated the pair were en route to a restaurant in ticonderoga, n.y. friends followed the tracks to chipman point in the orwell and putnam station, n.y., area before discontinuing their search because of unsafe ice conditions.

a joint search by state police using sonar equipment and scuba divers found snowmobiles and articles of clothing belonging to the pair, leading authorities to believe the pair went through the ice on the lake's new york side.

as of sunday night, law enforcement hadn't located the missing men, both experienced snowmobilers with knowledge of the lake. search efforts were to be suspended until tuesday morning due to the winter storm conditions.

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