OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE FROM THE BONNER COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: On September 11, 2012, Nolan Calvin reported that while fishing on the west side of Priest Lake he caught a large lake trout. Mr. Calvin began to clean the fish and discovered what he believed to be a severed human finger inside the fish. Mr. Calvin put the finger on ice and reported the incident to the Sheriff's Office.
The finger was picked up and examined by Detectives from the Bonner County Sheriff's Office who determined that the finger was indeed human. Detectives were able to determine there was sufficient ridge detail to obtain a latent fingerprint. Detectives began to search for a possible victim.
Detectives found that on July 4, 2012, a wake boarding accident took place on Priest Lake off Kalispell Island. The accident involved Hans A. Galassi, 31 years of age. Mr. Galassi lost four fingers from his left hand during the course of the accident and the fingers were never recovered. Detectives were able to find a fingerprint card for Mr. Galassi and a tentative identification was made and confirmed by the Idaho State Police Forensic Services Laboratory in Meridian, Idaho.
Based on the coordinates provided at the time of the accident, and the coordinates provided by Mr. Calvin as to where he caught the fish, it was determined the fish had traveled approximately 8 miles to the north.
It is unknown, of course, how long the fish actually retained the finger in its digestive track, however, it was noted that the finger was in remarkably good condition at the time of recovery.