The body of Toronto investment banker Brad Griffiths has been recovered from the depths of Lake Joseph in Muskoka, Ont., about 200 kilometres north of Toronto.
Mr. Griffiths had been missing since Monday afternoon, when a neighbour spotted him in distress in the water, a few hundred metres from shore. His boat was driving in circles beside him, and police say they do not believe he was wearing a lifejacket.
After several days of scouring the lake, the West Parry Sound OPP suspended their search for Mr. Griffiths on Thursday, while a private company employed by his family continued to scan the lake for clues, using video and sonar equipment.
On Saturday morning, the OPP rejoined the company in the search. They found Mr. Griffiths’s body just before 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, 295 feet below the surface of the water.
He was still wearing his sunglasses and a pair of shorts, a family friend said.
Frank Bellotti, Mr. Griffiths’ business partner and friend, issued a statement on behalf of the Griffiths family on Saturday evening.
He said the family wanted to thank friends and associates who offered support during the week, as well as police and Shark Marine, the private company, for their search efforts. “The family also wishes to extend their heartfelt thanks to the quick-thinking cottagers who first alerted emergency services that a boater was in distress,” the statement says.
An autopsy will be performed on Monday, Mr. Bellotti said.
Lake Joseph is one of three large lakes in the Muskoka region of Ontario. Its rocky shoreline is dotted with multimillion-dollar cottages, many of which combine dockside boathouses with expansive living quarters.
Mr. Griffiths’s cottage, which he purchased with his wife in 2005 for $4.9-million, sits on the shore on the north end of the lake, close to the spot where he was last seen.
Mr. Griffiths’s name is well known on Bay Street. He co-founded Griffiths McBurney & Partners in 1995, one of the most powerful independent investment banks in Canada. It is now know as GMP Capital Inc. . He left the firm in 1999. He had also been head of mergers and acquisitions at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce; vice-president of Gordon Capital Corp.; head of capital markets at Canaccord Capital; and managing director of capital markets at McFarlane Gordon.
More recently, he served as chief financial officer and chairman of the board of directors at United Hunter Oil and Gas Corp., as well as chairman of Griffiths Energy International.