, Corbin, KY

Local News

May 13, 2014

Body recovered at Laurel Lake

Went missing Sunday after swimming with friend

CORBIN — By Jeff Noble / Staff Writer

After a search Sunday evening that lasted past midnight, the body of a Whitley County man who drowned in Laurel River Lake was recovered around 1 a.m. Monday.

The victim was Robert Young, 26, of Williamsburg.

He was married and the father of two young girls.

Search crews from various first-responders found the victim’s body at the spillway of the Laurel River Lake Dam, near the swim beach.

Searchers were told Young went missing after he was swimming with a friend in the lake Sunday, and was last seen about 200 feet from the shore.

Whitley County Emergency Management Director Danny Moses said his crew got the call around 7:15 p.m. Sunday, with the first crews getting there in about 15 minutes.

He added that a picture taken on the lake helped crews to recover Young’s body.

“We actually knew where he went in. There was a lady taking pictures of her husband and of her son being in the water, and when she took the picture on her iPhone, it just so happened there were two swimmers in the picture. Because of that, we were able to narrow the search. It was around the spillway next to the beach, and if you look out in the middle there is a buoy, and the swimmer was around 15-20 feet near the buoy. At that buoy, the water’s 60 feet deep. When we recovered the body, the water we found him in was 38 feet deep,” Moses said.

After finding the body, searchers brought it to short in a boat, where at that point Whitley County Coroner Andy Croley took over the investigation.

Croley declared Young dead around 1 a.m. from an accidental drowning.

“We did a toxicology and this was a witness incident. He (Young) was swimming to the buoy with a friend, and the beach had numerous friends on it. The water temperature was around 70, which was pretty chilly. He attempted to make his way to and from the buoy — between 150-200 feet from the beach. He (Young) got right around to where the buoy was, but he had some difficulty when he was trying to return back to shore. His friend went to help him, and he (Young) just went under and was not seen again,” Croley said Monday evening.

Along with Whitley County Emergency Management and the Whitley County Coroner, among those responding to the scene were Woodbine Fire and Rescue, the Oak Grove Volunteer Fire Department, Whitley County Sheriff’s Department, Whitley County EMS, the Laurel County Rescue Squad, Laurel County Sheriff’s Office, Laurel County EMS, member of the Bald Rock Volunteer Fire Department, and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

Croley Funeral Home will be in charge of Young’s arrangements which were incomplete at press time Monday night.

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