Body recovered in Lake Mendota wife of prominent businessman, family spokesman says

FD: Body of Dane County woman found underwater near Madison boat ramp

The body found in Lake Mendota Monday morning is 51-year-old Julie Bush Metcalfe, the wife of prominent businessman Tim Metcalfe, a Metcalfe family spokesperson confirmed to News 3 Monday afternoon.

The Madison Fire Department said divers found the body underwater near the Spring Harbor boat ramp on the city’s northwest side.

Police were alerted about a car under water at the boat ramp just after 7:30 a.m.

Madison Fire Department spokeswoman Cynthia Schuster said a lake rescue team examined the scene and members have recovered one victim. The fire department would not say whether the body was found inside or outside of the SUV.

The Dane County Medical Examiner said the cause of death was drowning.

Pastor Chris Dolson spoke on behalf of the Metcalfe family, who own the local grocery store chain Metcalfe’s Market.

He said Julie suffered from depression, and it appears she drove her vehicle into the lake.

The Metcalfe family released a statement through Dane County Boys and Girls Club CEO Michael Johnson Monday afternoon:

“The Metcalfe family would like to thank everyone for their sympathy and prayers. Today, we lost a member of our family and are grieving and ask that you give us time to cope with the loss of our loved one. Julie Bush Metcalfe was a wonderful mother, wife, daughter and business owner. Give us time to console each other as we make plans. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.”

Sue Petkovsek, who is on the board of directors at NAMI Dane County, said if you suspect someone is contemplating suicide it’s important to ask specific questions like: Are you planning to hurt yourself? Do you not want to be here anymore? What is your plan? When and where are you going to do it?

“The more specific details they’ve thought out and the more serious the threat is,” Petkovsek said.

While it can be a tough line of questioning it could be the difference between a life lost or saved.

“You need to act because you might be able to save a life and you don’t get many chances to do that,” Petkovsek said.

There are resources in southern Wisconsin for anyone dealing with mental illness.

Journey Mental Health Center has a 24-hour crisis line at 608-280-2600 or 1-800-SUICIDE, and has online resources, including a list of warning signs of suicide.