Update: Search continues. Authorities plan to return Monday, if necessary.
A search that began late Saturday afternoon for a man believed to have drowned in an area of the Thompson River, west of Chillicothe, continued throughout Sunday. Dive teams from Grundy and Harrison County were assisting in the search as well as a cadaver dog from Missouri Task Force One. The search was planned to continue today (Monday), if necessary, with the Missouri State Highway Patrol Dive Team. “We are exhausting area reponders and the weather is not helping,” said Livingston County Sheriff Steve Cox. This area of the river, commonly known as the 3rd Street bottoms, is dangerous and very deep, possibly more than 20 feet deep, the sheriff stated. “There is a strong undertow current, a great deal of brush, concrete slabs and old box cars from the railroad,” he stated, noting that it is a dangerous area for even experienced and trained divers. Authorities will continue their efforts as along as possible. In respect for the victim and family, security will be in place until the effort is over, the sheriff stated. He asks that the public avoid the area until further notice. The Chillicothe Fire Department was called to the area shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday in reference to a reported drowning. Fire Chief Darrell Wright reported that upon arrival at the scene, firefighters were met by an individual who stated he heard some screaming and went down to the river to find two subjects who said that a person was drowning. The individual stated that he had tried searching for the subject but the river’s current was too strong. “We were told the subject had been under water for approximately 30 minutes,” Wright stated in a news release issued early Sunday. Authorities had not released the name of the victim as of 5 p.m. Sunday press time, but the sheriff stated that the individual was a local male. He was part of a small group of people who were playing in the river. He went under and never came up. The dive teams searched the area Saturday until it became too dark to safely dive with no success in finding the subject, and returned Sunday morning.