CORRECTION - Published July 18, 2012 - Due to incorrect information provided to the Times-Tribune, a story and headline about a missing man on Laurel Lake that appeared on Page 1 of the July 9 edition contained an error. It should have said the search had shifted from a rescue to a recovery search.
By Carl Keith Greene / Staff Writer
The search on Laurel Lake ended Saturday night without Clarence Holmes, 32, of Berea, not being found, said Abby Hale, Laurel Department of Public Safety manager.
Searchers began their work Friday after Holmes empty pontoon boat was found near a small island near the Marsh Branch boat ramp.
On Thursday afternoon, Holmes was on a friend’s houseboat about a mile from Holly Bay.
Thunderstorms were approaching and Holmes left the houseboat about 3 p.m. heading for the dock. He was said to be planning to return to the friend’s boat. When the storm subsided, the friend went to find Holmes and found only the empty pontoon boat.
The search began Thursday until nightfall, then resumed on Friday when Laurel County Rescue and the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife department arrived near where the pontoon boat was found.By Saturday, five agencies from three counties were in the water.
Also searching were friends and family of Holmes.
Teams searched through the water foliage near the dam, hoping clues might turn up there. Laurel County Rescue boats and Pulaski County Rescue boats, both with sonar equipment searched as far as 315 feet down in the lake. Searchers also scoured steep and wooded banks of the lake with two search and rescue dogs.
Foul play was ruled out because Holmes’ duffel bag containing his belongings and a hand-held two-way radio were there. Hale said between 50 and 70 searchers were involved in the search.