NEWBURGH, Ind. – Months after a Louisville man tried to save a woman’s life by jumping into the Ohio River, his remains were found about 100 miles downstream in southwestern Indiana.
The Warrick County Coroner’s Office identified remains found at the Old Lock and Dam area on Saturday as those of 34-year-old Adam L. Thomas.
The coroner’s office and Newburgh Police Department appealed for help from the public after the remains were found over the weekend. One key piece of evidence was a back tattoo with the wording “Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat” (“fortune favors the bold” is a common translation) with a large cross below it.
The tattoo proved to be key in determining the remains belonged to Thomas, who disappeared on Jan. 13, 2022, after leaping into the Ohio River in an attempt to rescue a woman who’d jumped in.
Neither Thomas nor the woman made it back to the riverbank. Investigators called off their search after a few hours and presumed both had drowned.
Police described Thomas as a hero who died while trying to help someone else.
“The actions of Mr. Thomas were a true act of heroism and took great courage,” Newburgh police wrote. “Mr. Thomas placed himself in harm’s way in order to help another and ultimately sacrificed his life in doing so.”
The woman’s name has not been publicly disclosed. Her remains have not been found.