Authorities, who had not released the teens' names, called off the search of partially frozen Budd Lake in Mount Olive Township, Morris County, about 4:45 p.m. Tuesday. Searchers were to resume their efforts to find the second youth Wednesday morning, The (Newark) Star-Ledger reported.
"The divers are exhausted and the light is diminished," Acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric Knapp said. "So there is only so much they can do."
Clyde Schimanski Jr. had told the newspaper earlier his son, Clyde III, was missing and believed he was one of the teens. The other boy was identified in numerous Facebook and Twitter posts as Nick Ciancotto.
Friends said they believed the boys were ice fishing when they fell in, the newspaper said.
Rescue workers converged on the lake about 6 p.m. Monday after local residents reported hearing screams, The New York Times reported. A helicopter aided teams from the Budd Lake Fire Department and Budd Lake First Aid and Rescue Squad.
William Hardy, who lives on the lakeshore, told The Star-Ledger he and his housemate heard cries for help. He said he saw a blue light, possibly from a cellphone and could hear at least two voices when he ventured on to the ice but said he had to stop about 100 feet away because of thin ice.
He said he heard cries: "Please help me -- I don't want to die."
By Tuesday morning, Mount Olive Mayor Robert Greenbaum had posted on his Facebook page that the youths were unlikely to have survived. Mount Olive Police Cpl. Eric Anthony said the search would continue until authorities confirmed the boys are dead.
"Imagine screaming and knowing you're going to die," Schimanski said of his son. "He died a horrible death."