The Duncan Banner

June 11, 2013

Search for boy continues at Waurika Lake

Jeff Kaley
The Duncan Banner

WAURIKA — As late afternoon turned to evening Monday, a search continued for a Roff youth who’s believed to have drowned in Waurika Lake.

Divers and search boats from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol were searching for the boy, who the OHP said is 10 to 12 years old.

The boy’s parents and other family members confirmed to the OHP and members of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department and Waurika Police Department that the boy was last seen swimming in the lake early Saturday evening. At one point, he went beneath the water and failed to return to the surface, family members said.

Despite the family confirmation, OHP investigators won’t proclaim a cause of death until the body has been recovered. A search Saturday evening and Sunday morning in the area of Kiowa Park One campsite failed to produce the child, and no foul play is believed to be involved.

OHP Troopers used dragging equipment to search the lake until it grew dark Saturday night. The search continued Sunday and all day Monday, with the lake being dragged and divers being deployed.

Waurika Lake is currently over 11 feet below normal depth and water in the lake is described as murky by the U.S. Corps of Engineers and Jefferson County game warden. Rescue efforts were also being slowed because the lower water depth is bringing brush and wood piles closer to the surface.

Campers, swimmers and fishermen have also decribed deep mud exists under water near beaches.

Roff is located 15 miles southwest of Ada on Oklahoma Highway 1.

If a drowning is confirmed, it would be the second drowning death since July 7, 2012, at Waurika Lake. In that nighttime incident, a 3-year-old boy from Ryan wandered into the water at Chisholm campsite.