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Deputies: Woman found dead near Lake Winnebago left ice shanty party

Lake Winnebago is frozen over in Fond du Lac County Jan. 2, 2018. (WLUK image)

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (WLUK) -- A woman found dead near Lake Winnebago over the weekend had been celebrating New Year's Eve in an ice shanty, investigators say.

Officials believe 27-year-old Lindsey Klima fell at the shoreline and died of exposure to the cold.

The Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Dept. says Klima was at a New Year's Eve party held on frozen Lake Winnebago with about 10-12 other people.

Sheriff's Capt. Ryan Waldschmidt said Klima was drinking along with others at the gathering.

"They were drinking alcohol -- like I said, it was a New Year's Eve party. We don't know how much she had to drink; toxicology reports will show us that once autopsy is completed," said Waldschmidt.

Around 1:30 a.m. Monday, Klima told friends and families she was going out for a cigarette but never came back. Around that time, temperatures were about 9 degrees below zero with a wind chill of about -20.

"They had all thought that she had stayed with somebody else or stayed at somebody else's house overnight, and it took most of the day to figure out that she was nowhere to be found," Waldschmidt said.

Around 4:40 p.m. family and friends reported Klima missing. Her body was found on shore near Garden drive around 6:30 p.m.

Officials say she most likely died due to the cold weather, but it's unclear why she stayed on the shore.

"We suspect she may have sustained an injury crawling up the rocks onto shore that might have hindered her ability to walk on shore," Waldschmidt said.

Waldschmidt says it's common for people to host parties on the ice during this time of the year.

The sheriffs deptartment says foul play is not suspected, but they do plan on talking to people at the party to find out what they know and saw.

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