MINNETONKA, Minn. (KMSP) - Family members have identified the boater recovered from Lake Minnetonka on Sunday as 40-year-old Erick Barbieri-Astorga of Shorewood, Minnesota.
An unoccupied boat was found circling near Big Island around 6 p.m. Saturday evening. After the boat was discovered, crews began searching the area with sonar equipment. The search was suspended at 4 a.m. Sunday, but resumed at 7 a.m.
Barbieri-Astorga's body was found late Sunday morning on the north side of Big Island, about 150 to 200 yards away from the shore. The water was 25 feet deep in that spot.
The cause of death remains under investigation. Anyone who was in the area at the time of the incident is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 952-258-5321.
"Erick was an amazing father to four girls, and a loving husband to Denise. He was their main provider. His loss will create not only incredible emotional hardships for his family, but financial strain while they adjust to life without their daddy and husband," family members wrote in a GoFundMe campaign that had raised nearly $10,000 by midday Monday. "Erick was an incredibly loving and generous man. He was always willing to help anyone out however he could. He adored his daughters and loved spending his time with them. He loved his boat and being on the lake. He was the life of any party, and would make friends anywhere and everywhere he went. Always excited to try new things and new adventures. He had a wonderful way of making people feel welcome and wanted. Losing him leaves a tremendous hole in our family."
Two of Barbieri-Astorga's daughters have medical conditions that require expensive medications and monitoring. If you would like to help his family, you can donate at https://www.gofundme.com/barbieri-family