Dive Teams Search For Body Of Missing Hiker Near Lake Tenkiller

Wednesday, July 13th 2016, 11:20 pm
By: News On 6

Dive teams with the Cherokee Nation Marshals Service will head back to Lake Tenkiller Thursday to look for the body of a missing hiker.

The Sequoyah County Sheriff's Office arrested three of Matthew Fagan's friends on first-degree murder complaints Wednesday.

Fagan disappeared last month after the Sequoyah County Sheriff's Office said he went on a hike near the Cato Creek area of Lake Tenkiller with Michael Snelling, Blake Shamblin and Tyler Leverett.

7/12/2016 Related Story: Sequoyah County Sheriff's Office Arrests 3 Connected To Missing Hiker

According to court records, Leverett told investigators Snelling got into a fight with Fagan on the trail. Leverett said he witnessed Snelling hit Fagan with a ball-peen hammer, knocking him unconscious.

Investigators say Leverett led them to a cove area of Lake Tenkiller where cadaver dogs already hit.

The Cherokee Nation Marshals Dive Team is helping the Sequoyah County Sheriff's Office look for Fagan's body.

The dive team can deploy two divers into the water in any conditions - they have some of the highest certifications in the country.

And the dive team even deployed an ROV into Lake Tenkiller to help with the search.

"It allows us to extend the range of our divers,” Marshal Shannon Buhl explained. “The divers can only be in the water about 20 minutes before they get tired, where I can put this ROV in the water for hours at a time."

The underwater robot uses a camera, sonar equipment, and a claw to find anything.

"That's why we do this; we want a family in a drowning situation to at least have closure that that family member is back home," Buhl said.

The team has already been to three locations on the lake looking for Fagan.