Man's death under investigation, police try to find family

Man's death under investigation, police try to find family
(Source KSWO)
(Source KSWO)

LAKE ELLSWORTH, OK (KSWO) -Lawton Police are investigating the death of a man who was found at the base of the spillway of the Lake Ellsworth dam Wednesday morning.

When rescue crews arrived, the man was in the water, unconscious, but breathing. He was pronounced dead on the scene after first responders pulled him from the water and tried to save him. Now, they're trying to figure out what happened to him.

Police believe they know who the man is, but they are not releasing a name yet because they're still trying to track down his family. The call for help came in around 7 a.m. from a fisherman who spotted the man, but beyond that, police aren't saying much because they don't have much to go on.

"It's unknown how he got there, but due to the injuries the detectives are still investigating that," explained Lawton Police Det. Charles Whittington.

Dams like this one can be dangerous places, and Det. Whittington wants those who are going to be around them to be very cautious.

"If you are fishing, or you are out in this area, there are areas that you are allowed to go and areas that you are restricted. It's dangerous. Obviously there is free flowing water. It's quite a distance to the bottom. If you come out here to fish, please be careful," he said.

Det. Whittington says before rescuers could approach the scene, they had to make sure the area was clear and safe for the emergency responders.

"Once we can establish that the scene is safe for us to access, then obviously the life-saving procedures come in. Getting this individual from the bottom of the dam and bringing them up to safety," Det. Whittington said.

The man was taken to the State Medical Examiner's Office in Oklahoma City to determine the cause of death.

One woman who was at the dam Wednesday morning said she's seen the man out there many times, and that he comes to Lake Ellsworth to fish, but she did not know what had happened to him.

Det. Whittington asks if anyone has information about the incident to contact the Lawton Police Department at 580-581-3270.

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