Multiple water searches underway after busy weekend for DNR

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Searching up and down the White River from Riverside Park to 16th street, Indiana Conservation Officers are hoping to find any sign of 52-year-old Terrence Williams, who fell from a canoe on Saturday.

“Our boats that are right there on the river are equipped with sonar, so we will be able to scan the bottom of the river as they patrol through there,” said Capt. Jet Quillen with the Indiana DNR.

It’s one of four searches in the last four days. On Monday, officers continued their search for four-year-old Owen Jones, who was swept away in a Delphi creek on Thursday.

Another crew was sent to White County Monday morning to search the Tippecanoe River for a kayaker.

On Sunday, officers recovered the body of 31-year-old William Snoddy, who jumped off the back of a boat in lake Monroe. Neither Snoddy nor Williams were wearing life jackets.

“If you’re going to be on a stream, river or any moving water, wear a life jacket,” Quillen said. “The water is already at elevated levels due to the rainfall that we’ve had, and they can be deceiving, so wear your life jacket if you are going to be on a canoe, kayak or even a motorboat. Wear that life jacket because it is just not worth the risk.”

The DNR has more than two hundred officers statewide, many out patrolling the busy lakes for the holiday. Some officers are coming from multiple counties as they are redirected to the searches.

“There are waterways that are busy all over the state, so we’re trying to make sure we have coverage on all of those, and then pulling our divers, our sonar operators and boat operators to the areas we need to search,” Quillen said. “We’ll pull them from wherever we need to pull them from to ensure that we have the correct amount of staffing to do an effective search.”

On the White River, the DNR has officers from Brown County and Hendricks County, and all crews are searching from sunup to sundown in hope of results.

“It’s non-stop for a lot of them,” Quillen said. “It wares on them, but we are here to serve the public, so we will do whatever we need to do.”

The amount of debris on the bottom of the White River has made the search difficult.

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