Cassopolis man dies in Belas Lake drowning accident

Published 4:29 pm Saturday, October 22, 2022

PENN TOWNSHIP — A 50-year-old Cassopolis man drowned in Belas Lake Saturday morning, according to the Cass County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Richard J. Behnke reports that this incident occurred at 7:23 a.m Saturday on Belas Lake in Penn Township. Deputies were called to the scene when a kayak was located adrift at the northwest corner of the lake.  The kayak was unoccupied with hunting equipment, floating near the kayak. Authorities investigated the area and located the owner of the kayak deceased below the surface of the water.  

Authorities recovered the subject, who was identified as Terry Allen Westphal, 50 years old, resident of Cassopolis, Michigan. Initial investigation shows that Westphal fell into the water from his kayak and drowned.  An autopsy is pending at Western Michigan University’s WMed Forensic Pathology Center. 

Assisting agencies on scene were Newberg Township Ambulance and Cass County Marine Division. This incident remains under investigation.