One Year After 4-Year-Old’s Disappearance, Remember Water Safety

(DELPHI) – One year ago tomorrow, 4-year-old Owen Jones of Monticello disappeared after being swept away in a flooded Deer Creek.

On the evening of May 23, 2019, Jones was playing at Delphi’s Riley Park with family and friends. Witnesses reported that the child and at least one other person from his group were playing near the edge the creek, near the old dam, just upstream of the U.S. 421 bridge.

Indiana Conservation Officers who investigated believe Jones removed his shoes, which were recovered from the scene to wade in the normally shallow water, which had recently received heavy rain. Witnesses observed Jones being swept downstream before eventually disappearing below the surface of the water.

Multiple state and local agencies spent weeks searching Deer Creek and the Wabash River; however, Jones has never been located.   

This Memorial Day weekend, Indiana Conservation Officers ask anyone boating, fishing, or hiking along Deer Creek or along the Wabash River downstream from Deer Creek to be observant for signs of Jones, who was last seen wearing a blue sleeveless shirt with a red and white star on the front, and blue shorts.

If these, similar items of clothing, or any suspected human remains are located, please contact your local law enforcement agency or Indiana Conservation Officers at 812-837-9536

Indiana Conservation Officers remind Hoosiers planning to spend time around water during this holiday weekend that water levels in many local waterways are again higher than normal.

Extra precautions should be taken when on or near the water. Wear a life jacket and be aware of floating debris. If the current appears fast and the water is muddy, stay out of the water.

The danger of moving water is often underestimated and adding the cold water temperature currently present in many areas into any situation decreases the chance of surviving an accident.