Missing Fleming County teenager likely fell to his death, police say

jkegley@herald-leader.comNovember 20, 2012 

The body of a Fleming County teenager who went missing while hunting deer Saturday was found at the bottom of a cliff Tuesday afternoon.

Police do not suspect foul play in the death of Ricky Dean Hamilton Jr., 15.

"It was just simply an accident," said Trooper Endre Samu, a spokesman for the Kentucky State Police in Morehead. "He was walking along the edgeline and somehow slipped and fell over the edge."

The Fleming County High School football player went missing while he was hunting with his father, officials have said. The two split up and planned to meet later Saturday at a specific area, but the teenager never arrived.

Search parties had been looking for Hamilton . About 100 people per day participated, including community members, emergency management officials, volunteers from Fleming County fire departments and police.

"It's been a great turnout, but unfortunately we did not get the result we wanted," said Grover Money, assistant chief of the Ewing Fire Department who coordinated the search Tuesday. "We feel for the family and wish we'd had better results."

State police on a helicopter spotted the body at the base of a rock quarry about 1:11 p.m. Tuesday, Samu said.

A little more than an hour later, the body was identified as that of Hamilton. The teen landed on some rocks when he fell, Samu said.

Emergency workers were not sure of the cliff's height. They were trying to recover the body Tuesday afternoon.

Samu said the teen probably wasn't lost because the quarry was only about a mile north of Hamilton's house, and his family hunted in the area frequently.

Funeral arrangements were pending Tuesday afternoon.

Josh Kegley: (859) 231-3197. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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