Franklin officials continue search for man swept away in Elkhorn Creek

gkocher1@herald-leader.comJuly 8, 2013 

FRANKFORT — The recovery effort was to resume Tuesday for a man swept away by swift water on Elkhorn Creek, Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton said.

The body of Buford J. Barron III, 28, of Scott County was spotted from a boat and a helicopter about noon Monday, but it went under the water before Frankfort firefighters could retrieve it, Melton said.

"The water's muddy, and visibility is virtually zero," he said.

Barron, who recently got a job at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Lexington, was fishing with a friend when he slipped on a rock and fell into the water Sunday night, Melton said. "His friend said he saw him and said he was floating," Melton said. Barron went under near a dam "and came up once and then went back under," and the friend didn't see him again. The friend ran to a nearby house and called 911 about 7 p.m.

Boats from the Scott County fire, Versailles police and Frankfort fire departments searched the water until dark Monday.

The waterway was swollen from recent rains, which made the search more difficult.

"It's been a long day and everybody's tired," he said Monday evening. "It's frustrating."

County firefighters walked along the creek before it got dark Sunday. The search resumed after 8 a.m. Monday with city and county firefighters, deputy sheriffs and personnel from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. Two teams walked along both sides of the creek.

"The water's real, real swift," Melton said earlier Monday. "It's about four or five feet higher than it would normally be."

The water receded enough later Monday afternoon for boats to be put into the water.

Herald-Leader staff writer Karla Ward contributed to this report.

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