On Friday, Aug. 23, Indiana Conservation Officers, along with several state and local resources, conducted a search along Deer Creek for Owen Jones but were unable to locate him. Jones disappeared in Deer Creek on May 23. The search conducted on Friday was focused on an area of logs in the creek just downstream from where Jones was last seen.
Using equipment and sandbags from INDOT, J&J Crane Rental of Brookston began placing concrete traffic barriers on the footer of the old low head dam, near U.S. 421, to restrict the flow of water. Several area firefighters and police officers assisted with the barrier placement and the placement of sandbags to complete the formation of a temporary dam.
As the dam was being built, DNR fire personnel began cutting the trees into manageable pieces. The logs were then pulled across the creek with large equipment provided by the DNR Division of State Parks.
Once the water level decreased and the logs were removed, firefighters and police officers began searching by hand through the mud and the silt that had accumulated around the trees. Information provided by K9 teams from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security helped conservation officers and several other state and local agencies search the area.
Search efforts have been conducted along Deer Creek, as well as along several miles of the Wabash River, since Jones’s disappearance. On different occasions, with varying water levels, Conservation Officers have swam and waded Deer Creek looking for any sign of Jones.
DNR Public Safety Divers have checked the deeper areas of the creek, as well as areas where water flows under the bank or under large pieces of concrete. The only areas in the creek that officers could not thoroughly search included four to five log jams. It is very difficult, and often times hazardous, to remove log jams and search through the debris, mud, and silt that has accumulated around them.
The Jones family is currently working with out of state resources to have a different team of cadaver dogs search the area in the future, in case he is still trapped under an obstruction in Deer Creek. However it is very possible Jones made it into the Wabash River.
Conservation Officers are asking the public to be observant as they boat or hike in the area, and to report anything possibly related to this case to investigators. Jones was wearing a blue sleeveless t-shirt with a red and white star on the front, and blue shorts.
Conservation Officers will continue to conduct patrols in the area.
Investigators, and Jones’s family, are very thankful for the efforts of over 30 firefighters, sheriff’s deputies, police officers, paramedics, equipment operators, and public works staff that volunteered to help with this search effort.
Indiana Conservation Officers
Indiana DNR Fire
Indiana DNR Division of State Parks
Carroll County Sheriff’s Department
Carroll County EMA
Carroll County EMS
Carroll County Coroner’s Office
Carroll County Communications
Delphi Police Department
Delphi Fire Department
City of Delphi Department of Public Works
City of Delphi Office of the Mayor
Indiana Department of Homeland Security
Indiana Department of Transportation
Indiana Department of Environmental Management
J&J Crane Rentals of Brookston
Burrows Fire Department
Camden Fire Department
Tippecanoe County EMA
SOURCE: News release from Indiana Department of Natural Resources