In terms of physical preservation of a human body, Kokanee Lake would rank as just about ideal.

by Brad Salzberg

September 18, 2023

On November 13, 1998, Michel Trudeau, youngest son of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and younger brother of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, was reported as having drowned following an avalanche that swept him into Kokanee Lake, British Columbia.

His body was never recovered.

According to an article published by Scientific American, four factors affect the pace and completeness of human body decomposition. The most important is temperature.

“Anything that blocks exposure to oxygen, such as burial, submersion or high altitude, will slow decomposition. Depending on the interplay of these four factors, the body can turn into a skeleton as rapidly as two weeks or take more than two years.”

In terms of physical preservation of a human body, Kokanee Lake would rank as just about ideal. The water is cold year-round, particularly in the month of November when young Mr. Trudeau was said to have drowned by way of a freak avalanche.

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