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Man Drowns In Crawford County River

Last updated on Monday, August 13, 2007

(ALTON) - Indiana Conservation Officers responded to a report of a possible drowning over the weekend in Little Blue River near the town of Alton in Crawford County.

Officers were informed by the Crawford County Sheriffs Department that 51-year-old Robert Cotton, of Mt. Pleasant, Indiana, in Perry County, was reported missing by a friend while boating and swimming in the river.

The friend, 26-year-old Ryan Moiser, also of Mt. Pleasant, Indiana, told police that he and Cotton were operating a 15-foot fishing boat. They had come into the Little Blue River from the Ohio River. The two were apparently seeking relief from the heat by finding a shady area. They began to swim and Cotton never resurfaced.

By using a newly acquired Side-Scanning Sonar Unit, Officers located the victim in 8 feet of water. The Crawford Coroner took Cotton's body to confirm his cause of death.

His friend was taken to the Crawford County Jail and incarcerated on a charge of Operating a Watercraft while Intoxicated.

Conservation Officers do believe that alcohol may have played a part in the accidental drowning.

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