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Recovery effort for missing man in Salt Fork Creek continues (Update 8:32 p.m. June 17)

Thursday, June 17, 2010 ~ Updated 8:32 PM

(Photo)
Rescuers discuss their next moves in the search for 18-year-old Cory Gilliland, who was swept away in the Salt Fork Creek Wednesday, June 16.
(Pat Nolan/Democrat-News)

Update:Marshall police officials issued a statement about 8 p.m. Thursday, June 17, providing the status of the search for Cory Gilliland.

"There is no new information in the case," said Assistant Chief Maj. David Roscher. "Search crews will resume the search at about 8 a.m. Friday."

Roscher added that members of the Missouri State Water Patrol searched approximately 10 miles of the banks of the Salt Fork Creek Thursday evening, finding no trace of Gilliland.

Missouri Water Patrol divers are using a specialized sonar device to search the Salt Fork Creek for a man swept away while swimming Wednesday, June 16.

The missing 18-year-old man, Cory Gilliland, of Marshall, was swimming in the Salt Fork Creek at about 3:50 p.m. with another male swimmer when the pair got caught in the current and swept through a culvert.

The second swimmer was caught up in a tree where he was rescued, said Marshall Police Chief Mike Donnell.

(Photo)
Missouri Water Patrol work with electronic equipment used to locate missing people underwater. Photo courtesy of Marshall Police Department.
(Contributed photo)
The second swimmer is 18-year-old Dwight Lee Johnson, of Marshall.

Search teams went to work at 7 a.m. Thursday, June 17, after suspending the search at fall of darkness Wednesday.

"It was getting dark and a storm was rolling in," Donnell said. "It was getting too dangerous to keep going."

He added that searchers needed specialized equipment that arrived in the morning.

The Water Patrol's sonar device was being relayed by officers to get it to Marshall from the Missouri Bootheel, said Water Patrol Diver Tim Murrell.

The sonar rests in a tripod-like contraption, Murrell said. "It allows for a 360-degree scan of the area. It's like a fish-finder, an $80,000 fish-finder."

Murrell spoke with the family before going down to the staging area.

"I've been doing this for 16 years. It doesn't get any easier," he said. "I can't tell you what you want to hear."

Murrell said searchers were initially searching the area where Johnson was rescued, but cautioned against trying to pre-guess what could have happened in the racing water.

(Photo)
A Missouri Water Patrol diver enters the water during the search for Cory Gilliland. Photo courtesy of Marshall Police.
"I've had people go in the water and be found right where they went in," he said. "And I've had one where the person was found 23 miles down stream."

For the search on Thursday the number of searchers is down to 30 people from the initial response of 50 responders. Agencies on scene are the Missouri Highway Patrol, Water Patrol, Saline County Sheriff, Marshall Fire, Marshall Police, and representatives of the Saline County Medical Reserve Corps.

During the initial response yesterday, the Saline County Ambulance District along with Howard and Cooper County Search and Rescue teams were present.

(Photo)
Members of the Missouri State Water Patrol continue their search for Cory Gilliland, who was last seen in Salt Fork Creek about 3:50 p.m. Wednesday, June 16.
(Contributed photo from the Marshall Police Department)
Donnell said Marshall Police had six extra officers on duty working with the search teams, but cautioned against well-meaning volunteers trying to get out on the Creek to assist with the search.

"We are trained to work in teams," he said. "The more people we have down there, the more chance there is of having to stop and search for someone else."

Murrell agreed, saying that the five Water Patrol Divers had specialized training and discouraged hobby divers from trying to enter the water to help.

"You can't see anything. I have to work by feel," Murrell said. "I have a radio that the guys on the surface use to guide me."

Shortly after the initial reports of Gilliland's being swept away, responders searched the banks of the Salt Fork Creek south from the bridge project at Eastwood Street.

Responders also took up overlook positions at bridges as far south as the decommissioned bridge over Salt Fork Creek on Magnolia Street. Boats were put in the water to search along the banks.

Before 6 p.m. word went out over the radio that the rescue had turned into a recovery effort and the spotters at the Magnolia bridge were pulled back to assist with the a search of waters closer to the Eastwood bridge project.

Contact Pat Nolan at marshallbusiness@socket.net

Related Stories:
Rescue turns to recovery for man missing in Salt Fork Creek:
www.marshallnews.com/story/1643099.html
Emergency responders search for person reported swept away in Salt Fork Creek:
www.marshallnews.com/story/1643058.html


Comments
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I only know this young man from what my daughter has told me. They went to school together. she was very upset when she heard the news. Our prayers go out to him and his family, and for the young man they rescued. How hard this has to be for him.

-- Posted by Sweet Tart on Thu, Jun 17, 2010, at 6:06 PM

I'm going home now. My husband is out there looking for Cory right now. I will continue to pray. May God bless Cory, his family, and everyone else out there looking for him. Be strong. God Bless you all!!

-- Posted by djenme on Thu, Jun 17, 2010, at 4:54 PM

WHAT EVERYONE DOES NOT UNDERSTAND IS NEITHER THE F.D. OR POLICE CALLED OFF THE SEARCH, IT WAS THE WATER PATROL,

PRAISE GOD WE HAVE SUCH A DEDICATED FIRE DEPT. AND POLICE,

THIS WAS SUCH A TRADGEY, LETS PRAY FOR THE FAMILY AND BE THANKFUL IT WAS NOT OUR CHILD.YES, THE YOUNG MEN SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN THERE TO START WITH ,BUT THEY WERE, SO LETS STOP POINTING FINGERS,PRAY AND ASK THE LORD TO GIVE COMFORT TO THE FAMILIES AND TRY TO EDUCATE OUR YOUNG PEOPLE ABOUT THE DANGERS AROUND HIGH ,SWIFTLY RUNNING WATERS AND MAYBE WE CAN AVOID ANOTHER TRADGEY LIKE THIS ONE. MAY GOD BLESS THIS FAMILY.

-- Posted by buttons on Thu, Jun 17, 2010, at 4:02 PM

I'm still praying. There is still hope here.

-- Posted by djenme on Thu, Jun 17, 2010, at 3:26 PM

lets let the fire Department do their jobs and give thamks to all those who are out there risking their lives to find this man. My prayers are with the family and friends of this young man. But to koop putting down the Marshall PD and the Fire Department this is not the time or the place. My God how would we feel if that was one of our children, friend, neighbor ect...

-- Posted by Babbie on Thu, Jun 17, 2010, at 3:19 PM

Not to blame anyone, but we should all use this time to educate our youngsters, never swim in rushing water--especially when we have flash floods every week--stay away from creeks and rivers!!! Such a terrible tradgedy but maybe another life can be saved from it!!!!! My prayers go out to the family and hopes and prayers for a positive outcome.

-- Posted by Farm Mom on Thu, Jun 17, 2010, at 3:12 PM

Its me Jeff, I'm praying for you man. Not many people have much hope left but I still do.

-- Posted by jeff65340 on Thu, Jun 17, 2010, at 3:07 PM

Cory, I go to school with you, I am praying for you.

-- Posted by lexthelobster on Thu, Jun 17, 2010, at 3:02 PM

this is disturbing. it has been too long they wont find this poor kid alive. it happens every year kids being near areas like this. all we can do is pray for the families and friends of this young life.

-- Posted by kt_ma01 on Thu, Jun 17, 2010, at 2:14 PM

My thoughts and prayers are with family and friends. May God also protect those assisting in the search.

-- Posted by Cardfan67 on Thu, Jun 17, 2010, at 2:03 PM

So sad...my thoughts and prayers are with his family.

-- Posted by koeller77 on Thu, Jun 17, 2010, at 1:22 PM

Dwight, I'm so glad you are okay. I am praying for Corey. May God protect him.

-- Posted by djenme on Thu, Jun 17, 2010, at 1:09 PM

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends.

-- Posted by Pidge on Thu, Jun 17, 2010, at 1:02 PM

I am still praying

-- Posted by workingmom on Thu, Jun 17, 2010, at 12:43 PM