Authorities recover missing man's body from reservoir
|Carbon County Sheriffs Search and Rescue personnel take out a boat to look for a missing man on Scofield Reservoir on Wednesday evening. The search extended along the shoreline from the lake to the dam and eventually after a sonar boat was brought in from the Department of Public Safety the victim's body was spotted and brought to the surface. The inset photo shows water and ground searches being performed during the incident. |
The body of a 65-year-old Utah County resident was found in Scofield Reservoir at approximately 1:30 a.m. on Sept. 6 after a search that began about noon last Wednesday.
The Sept. 5 missing person report came from a male subject who was camping with the victim, Brian Farnell, of Cedar Hills.
The man's camping companion told law enforcement authorities that, when he awoke at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, he saw Farnell's sleeping bag and thought victim was still asleep.
The male subject then went back to sleep in his truck. But at approximately 10:30 a.m., the unidentified witness reportedly noticed that the bag was in the same position and Farnell was nowhere in the area.
After contacting a family member and doing a short search of the area, the male subject contacted the Carbon County Sheriff's Office.
That afternoon, the sheriff's office, Carbon Search and Rescue members and Utah State Parks officials started a ground search and then brought in boats to look at the reservoir near where the two men had been camping.
As a storm passed through the Scofield area at about 6 p.m., the boats and search teams were called into the command post set up at Scofield State Park due to lightning.
Because of murky water, Sheriff James Cordova directed county emergency services manager Jason Llewelyn to contact the Utah Department of Public Safety in Salt Lake City and ask the agency to send a boat used to locate bodies in Strawberry Reservoir last year.
The boat and operators, led by Capt. Douglas McCleave of the Department of Public Safety, arrived at the site at approximately 10:45 p.m. on Wednesday.
The craft was placed in the water to look for the possible victim. The search continued until about 1:45 a.m. on Thursday, when boat operators spotted signs on the screen that might be a body in the reservoir.
"I was on the boat when they saw the signature of a body," said Cordova. "Most people think that a screen shows the body or a form of it, but the signals don't me how they tell and the signs were there."
Divers were sent down and discovered Farnell's body in 20 feet of water about 50 feet from the shoreline.
"The nighttime diving was actually to our advantage in the divers locating the body," said Cordova. "The light during the day from above makes the water harder to see in when it is murky and there was also no other boat traffic going through the area."
The body was brought to the surface and transported by Carbon County ambulance to the medical examiners office for an autopsy.
While the incident appears to be an accidental drowning, an investigation is still ongoing in connection with the matter to allow authorities additional time to try to determine exactly what happened to Farnell.