Jonesboro man drowns in Spring River

Thursday, May 30, 2002

A body was recovered in the Spring River approximately nine miles south of Mammoth Spring on Memorial Day by a diver from the Highland Dive Team.

Rodney Allen Minton, 23, of Jonesboro was the apparent victim of a drowning accident after he and a friend, Christopher Erwin, went swimming in Spring River by Perkins Cabin. The pair became separated in the river's current May 26, said Fulton County Sheriff Lloyd Martz.

Martz said his office received a phone call around 11:45 a.m. from Erwin who told authorities he could not find Minton.

Fulton County Chief Deputy Carrol Traw and Wildlife Officers Wade Spence and Lt. Steve Taylor located Minton's body in about nine feet of water about 100 feet down river from Perkins Cabin around 3:10 p.m. Minton was pronounced dead by Deputy Coroner Doug Wortham.

The body was located with an underwater camera recently purchased by Martz after the Fulton County Quorum Court passed an ordinance May 13 to appropriate $463.42 for search and rescue from the county general fund to help rescue workers during emergency situations.

Martz said Minton's body was transported to the Arkansas State Medical Examiner's Office to determine if alcohol or drugs were involved to the drowning.

Martz said the camera is designed for underwater search and useful to locate bodies in dark, murky or clear water. "I knew we would wind up using the camera over the holiday," Martz added.

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