Detectives seek information about Fitchburg man found in Lake Mendota

MADISON, Wis. - A body found Saturday in Lake Mendota off Governor's Island has been identified as Jacob D. Payne, 23, of Fitchburg.

The Dane County Sheriff's Office said Payne's death is being investigated as a homicide.

The Dane County medical examiner said Monday Payne died as a result of "homicidal edged weapon violence."

The sheriff's office said Payne's body was found after 4 p.m. Saturday by a canoeist. The body was in about 5 to 6 feet of water about 30 yards from shore.

Detectives said the body had obvious signs of injury when it was recovered.

Payne did not have a permanent address, but had most recently been staying at a vehicle repair shop at 4260 Acker Road in the town of Burke, according to investigators. An older-model black BMW 528i was also found at the location.

Detectives are looking for evidence at the Acker Road location, and a dive team searched the lake near the spot where the body was found.

Payne has family ties in the Madison area, but also spent time living with family in Mississippi, according to the sheriff's office.

Detectives said they don't believe that the crime was random.

Anyone with information about Payne's contacts and whereabouts over the previous week or who witnessed anything suspicious at the Acker Road garage, or near the area of Governor’s Island, is asked to call the Dane County tip line at 608-284-6900. Tips can also be left on the Sheriff’s Office website.  Tips can be made anonymously.