Mother, Two Children Found Dead Inside Submerged Vehicle In Idaho Lake

The bodies recovered inside of a vehicle, submerged in Fernan Lake early Thursday morning have been identified as 25-year-old Misty Phelps of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and her two children, one-year-old Tristan Phelps and two-year-old Riley Phelps, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office.

The Bonner County Daily Bee reported that police were called to the Fernan Lake boat launch at around 10:45 a.m. when an unnamed man, who went to the lake to fish, spotted a vehicle submerged in the water.

When the diving team arrived at the scene, they discovered three bodies – a mother and her two children – were pulled from the submerged vehicle.

Circumstances leading up to their drowning deaths have not been released as an investigation is ongoing.

Misty has been an employee at the Coeur d’Alene Press since August 2013 and after learning she was found dead inside of a submerged vehicle, her co-worker – Publisher Lawrence M. Riley- released the following statement: “As yesterday’s events began to unfold, our newsroom approached this story with professionalism and thoughtful introspection.”

“A story like this is always difficult to cover, especially when children are involved. What brings it even closer to home is the fact that it involved one of our valued employees. At this point, there’s not much we can do but support each other and keep Misty and her children in our hearts, thoughts, and prayers.”

Sheriff Ben Wolfinger did say, however, that “the vehicle appeared to have been in the water for several hours. “

“We don’t believe anybody out there is at risk. We believe that all three drowned. The investigation will determine if it was accidental or not.”

Steven Stiles, who was at the scene, stated that “it was a terrible thing to see, as the car was pulled from the lake, on such a beautiful day. What a terrible loss. My prayers go out to the family.”

The father, Tyler Phelps, of the drowned children has spoken out, stating that “it’s a really tough thing. You don’t really expect things like this to happen. It’s been a non-stop sickness within my soul. Deep down within, you know? There’s comfort there that I think comes from God. Those were my precious baby boys.”

Tyler went on to say that “all I could ever think about was raising them, teaching them. They were good kids. I think that they would’ve really changed lives.”


After telling reporters that he and Misty were in the midst of getting a divorce, he warned other parents not to fight in front of their children. He added: “I’d say to people out there that don’t get along, start getting along. It’s not worth it. You don’t involve kids, they’re innocent, and they don’t deserve that.”

Katelynn Monroe on Facebook sympathized with the father as she stated that she “lost her son to drowning a few month ago. I know this pain all too well. I am so sorry for the family and the precious boys and the mother that lost their lives. To the dad, stay strong and know that they are always with you.”

“It’s a tough journey but having those angels above you will always make it worth the fight. Life is bitter sweet, but I have comfort in knowing that my boy is not alone up there.”

Another Facebook user, Tiffany Sether, wrote: “I’m so sorry for the loss of your wife and boys. I’m praying for your family – I know the feeling of losing your boys. I hope you’re doing okay. God will get you through this. I just want you to know that we are praying for you.”

An autopsy was conducted on the bodies but according to a press release, “full results of the autopsies will not be available for several weeks. The investigation is ongoing and more information will be released as it becomes available.”

[Featured Image By BeylaBalla/iStock]