VERMILION, Ohio (WJW) – The active effort to recover the body of a 33-year-old man presumed to have drown in Lake Erie has been temporarily suspended while police work to determine their next move.
Relatives of Brandon Spurlock, of Elyria, say he was rafting on Lake Erie with his girlfriend when he either slipped off of the raft or fell in the water.
“My granddaughter, she went out and hollered at them, told them they were going out too far and I don’t know if he got off to try to get the raft back in. He was swimming. My granddaughter said she heard him say something but she doesn’t know if it was ‘help’ or what, but she tried to go out there and help him and she couldn’t help him because he was too heavy for her to hold him up,” said Brandon’s father, Paul Spurlock.
Vermilion police say seven dive teams spent hours on Wednesday searching the muddy waters of the lake where they went in under very challenging conditions.
“Just the topography and the elements of what the dive teams experience in that environment, it’s such a foreign world because there’s hardly any visibility when the divers are down there… Especially on that granite, you are sliding around under there. You cant see anything so its almost impossible,” said Vermilion Police Chief Christopher Hartung.
Spurlock is described by his family as a good all around person who loved karaoke, concerts and was a joy to everyone who knew him.
His father and others waited at Showse Park where Brandon was swimming when he disappeared for any news as the hours slowly passed.
“It’s horrible. I mean, that’s my youngest baby. He’s been out there in that lake all night long floating around. God knows where he’s at,” said Paul Spurlock.
Hartung said the police department was working to try and get the Ohio Department of Natural Resources involved with specialized equipment they have to help find the missing man.
“Being a father of three kids myself, my heart goes out to him. I couldn’t imagine having to go through this and it’s frustrating. We want to get him back for him just as bad as he wants and in 23 years of unfortunately dealing with recovering drowning victims, we never had anybody that we haven’t recovered,” said Hartung.