Deputies use sonar, cadaver dogs to search water for missing Ashland County teen

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PERRYSVILLE, Ohio-  An extensive search continues for a missing Ashland County teenage boy in the same waters where a teenage girl drowned and a 14-year-old girl was rescue.

On Saturday, search teams concentrated their efforts at the spillway area of Pleasant Hill Lake in the Ashland County town of Perrysville.

Lt. Scott Smart with the Ashland County Sheriff’s Office said the boy and the older girl went in to help a 14-year-old girl who had jumped into the water Friday night.

"One of the juveniles jumped into to the spillway, got into distress.  Two other juveniles attempted to rescue that one, which put them in distress also," he said.

According to Lt. Smart, a ranger was able to rescue the 14-year-old. But, the other teen girl did not make it out safely.  Her body was recovered about a quarter mile downstream.

"We started our search here at the spillway. We also started our search down river and we were able to locate a female juvenile downriver. We recovered her,” Lt. Smart added.

On day two, Lt. Smart said the search effort was in the same area where the teens first went into the water.

"We brought in sight scan sonar from ODNR. We brought in cadaver dogs from ODNR, along with our underwater camera from the sheriff's office. With those three items, we were able to locate an area at the spillway where we believe our third victim is at,” he said.

These waters are known to be so dangerous that the divers cannot actually go under to search for the missing teen.

"With all the debris, with all the obstacles, the obstructions that we have and the undertow, it's too risky.  We can see with our underwater camera, but that visibility is limited.  We are using the sight scan sonar to try and see and we're using pipe poles to feel around,” Lt. Smart said.

This is marked as a no swimming area and one has to go over a fence to get into the water. Lt. Smart said there have been rescues here before.

“But, this is the first time we’ve actually had somebody jump into the spillway, where we had to recover them,” he said.

The identities of the teens have not been released.  Lt. Smart said the 14-year-old girl who was rescued is hospitalized and is in stable condition.

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