Body of missing boater found in Turtle Creek Reservoir

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Photo credit Indiana Conservation Officers

MEROM, Ind. (Mar. 2, 2016)– Indiana Conservation Officers found the body of a missing boater Wednesday in Turtle Creek Reservoir.

Officers used side-scan sonar to locate the body of Josue Franco, 38, of Fairbanks. The body was found in approximately 17 feet of water, about a fourth of a mile south from where witnesses saw the drifting capsized boat.

Franco had been fishing with Charles Herrin, 72 of Fairbanks, Mathew Cornelison, 44, of Plainfield, and his son Gabriel Cornelison, 12, of Plainfield.

Witnesses Mike Daley and Ernie Blankenship, both of Terre Haute, were fishing on the lake when they noticed the winds had increased severely. They turned on their motor and started to head back to the boat ramp when they say a capsized boat with three people clinging to the top of the boat.

Daley and Blankenship rescued Herrin and the two Cornelisons. They did not see Franco in the water at that time.

An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.

Sullivan County Sheriff’s Deputies and Hoosier Energy employees assisted conservation officers in the search and rescue effort.

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