Region 8 Man Drowns Trying to Save Dog

March 21, 2006 – Posted at 7:56 p.m. CST

DUNKLIN COUNTY, MO -- Police are still searching for the body of a Region 8 man presumed to have drowned in a lake in Dunklin County Tuesday afternoon. Two Pemiscot County men were fishing at the Jerry Paul Coombs Lake just outside of Kennett around 1:20 Tuesday when a desperate 911 call was made.

The men, who were college roommates, were in a boat on the lake with their dog. When the dog jumped overboard, a 21-year-old white male of Hayti went in afterwards trying to save it....but in the end, police officials say he's the one who lost his life.

"There were two individuals out here fishing and one of them had got in the water and at that time and he wasn't sure if he was still above the water and we got out here and he did see the individual go down, so we know we do have one in the water," said Dunklin County Sheriff Bob Holder.

Ryan Bauschlieher, 20, called 911 after his roommate went into the frigid waters.

"He had a dog jump in the water and the boat started drifting away from the dog, so he jumped in the water to go after the dog," said Holder.

Pemiscot County Rescue, Kennett Fire Department, Kennett Police Department, the Missouri Highway Patrol, Dunklin County Sheriff's Office, Missouri Conservation and the Missouri Water Patrol all responded to the scene.

With winds up to 20 miles per hour and temperatures hovering in the low 40's, search conditions have been less than ideal.

"If you just notice how choppy that water is out there, it's not a good day to be on a boat there but you need to use extreme caution anytime you are on the water, make sure that you have a life jacket on while you are out there you just need to be safe at all times," said Holder.

Divers are now being used to search the lake with a Side Scan Sonar--a device that scans and identifies items on the bottom of the lake.