Body found during search

NEWTON TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WKBN) — Officials have confirmed that they have uncovered one of two bodies of supposed drowning victims along a private pond off Miller Graber Road in Newton Township on Sunday.

Authorities said a father and his adult son were presumably dead after rescue workers said they never came home from a fishing trip.

The father’s body was pulled from the water around 6 p.m. Sunday. The man’s son is presumed dead as well, but his body has not yet been found.

Emergency responders began combing the area Saturday night but had to call off the search because of the dark.

“This is not being done as a rescue, we’re currently working as a search,” explained Major Harold Firster of the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office. “We found the canoe partially filled with water and we found some of their footgear.”

It happened on Rankin’s pond in Newton Township. The area covers about 15 acres, so searching the water takes a long time. That’s why more resources were brought in to narrow the area.

“Once we narrow that area our divers will search and see if we can locate the bodies of the individuals,” Firster said.

Getting to the pond is a challenge in itself; to access the water the search teams had to take a private access road which neighbors informed is owned by the railroad company.

“No one’s been allowed back there,” said nearby resident Matthew Hartz. “That access road is private railroad federal property back there.”

“It’s hard to see. There’s a lot of debris in the bottom of the lake, the pond, right now,” added Newton Falls Assistant Fire Chief Mike Novotny.

Dive teams spent about eight hours in the water Sunday. They called off the search as the sun set, but plan to be back out dragging the lake first thing Monday morning.

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