ZANESVILLE, Ohio- The South Zanesville Fire Department along with other first responders spent the day doing a search and recovery after a man jumped into Jonathan Creek.
Law enforcement said this all started around 2:30 in the morning when Sheriff’s Deputies attempted to pull the man over. They say he then fled jumping into the river and never resurfaced.
“There’s been an extensive rescue operation going on for the last 12 hours trying to locate him. But at this time it’s considered a recovery because there’s no evidence been found that he has survived,” said South Zanesville Fire Chief Russell Taylor.
Chief Taylor said multiple departments responded to the call to locate the man. Boats and K-9 units were both on scene assisting with the search.
“The cadaver dogs were out here several hours after it happened. The cadaver dogs did hit one spot four different times and that dog is designed to pick up the smell of skin cells and stuff like tracking dogs that would be floating on top of the water.”
The crews searched the spots where the dogs picked up a smell several times but were not able to locate the man’s body. Chief Taylor decided to call his team off the search early afternoon, however, ODNR continued their search.
“At this point if they do not locate anything we have plans to come on back Sunday afternoon and put the dog back in the water and let him just see if he can pick up a scent or anything. And if he does we’ll go from there and see what we need to do.”
Chief Taylor said the cold temperatures did not help the search efforts and made it more difficult for first responders to do their jobs. He said because of the temps the man likely did not survive long.
“With this water temperature being 35 and below I would say if he lasted 15-20 minutes, he’d be lucky. Very lucky.”
ODNR has since ended their search for the day. The search will continue on Sunday.