By Robert Barron Staff Writer
The body of 15-year-old Jesse Taylor was found about 2:30 a.m. Sunday after a three-day search by area firefighters, emergency personnel and volunteers.
The teen apparently drowned after jumping from a suspension bridge into Uncle John Creek in Kingfisher Thursday afternoon.
Kingfisher Fire Chief Randy Poindexter said Taylor jumped into the flood-swollen water from the bridge twice, allowing the current to take him past the bridge and further down the creek before he would resurface and return to the bridge.
Poindexter said on the third time the youth did not resurface. Firefighters were notified about 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
Taylor was found in Uncle John Creek about 1.5 miles downstream from where the search initially began.
The search was hampered by heavy rain and continued almost non-stop for three days. Taylor’s family had been at the site during the day Saturday, but firefighters did not know if they were present when the body was found.
Taylor’s body was taken to Sanders Funeral Home in Kingfisher.
Kingfisher firefighter Tyler Sigl said as many as 14 different fire departments assisted during the search. He estimated the water where the boy was found in about 15 feet deep.
The creek flow was rerouted upstream by the Army Corps of Engineers, allowing divers to find the body. Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports stated dive teams from OHP and other agencies searched the creek during the weekend, but were hampered by swift currents, which caused suspension of the search.