KINGFISHER, Okla. —
Authorities have released the name of the missing Kingfisher teen who disappeared into the water near the Swinging Bridge in Kingfisher Park Thursday night.
Taylor Faine, 17, was last seen jumping into the water from the dam on Uncle John Creek, near the bridge. His name had been withheld until his family could be notified.
Kingfisher Fire Chief Randy Poindexter said the search for Faine now is a recovery operation.
A helicopter has assisted in the search, along with trained dive teams. The Kingfisher Fire Department still was on the scene Saturday rebuilding the manmade dams meant to aid the search by lowering the water level downstream.
“We’re doing more of a watch-and-wait,” Poindexter said.
He said he expected Faine’s body to surface sometime before the early morning hours Sunday.
“Tonight, I’ll probably put more people on the creek in different areas to watch for him,” Poindexter said Saturday.
As of press time, they had not located the teen.
Faine completed his junior year May 17 at Kingfisher High School, where he played football and was on the wrestling squad, Superintendent Jason Sternberger said. His family recently had moved to the area.
There are about 95 students in his grade level at the school.
Sternberger said there was a “huge” turnout Friday night, as Faine’s classmates and members of the Kingfisher community held a vigil.
“You’re still in shock,” he said. “You just don’t know what to say.”
How the situation ultimately will impact the students is hard to measure, he said.
“With us being out of school, it’s tough to tell,” he said. “If we were in school, students would have better access to counselors.”
He noted that administrators and counselors still would be working at the school facilities next week if any student needs someone to talk to, Sternberger said.
Recent heavy rainfall has caused Uncle John Creek to swell. Similar conditions were seen in 2007, when rescuers searched the creek for a missing 15-year-old boy.
The body of Jesse Taylor was recovered following a three-day search by firefighters, emergency personnel and volunteers. The youth had been jumping from a suspension bridge that crossed the creek.
Signs in the area of the creek warn visitors not or dive or jump into the water from the suspension bridge.
Authorities in Kingfisher continued to ask the public to stay clear of the scene, because of dangers still present at some parts of the creek.
“A concern we always have, as these types of searches turn into days in length, is that other students with heightened emotions may take it upon themselves to try to ‘help’ in the search,” warned a post on the Kingfisher Police Department’s Facebook page. “Please caution them to stay away from the dangerous creek areas.”
Staff Writer Dale Denwalt contributed to this story.