Body Of Missing Tulsa Teen Recovered Sunday

Sunday, October 14th 2012, 12:35 pm
By: Dee Duren, Tess Maune

The body of a missing Tulsa teen was recovered Sunday morning. The young drowning victim was found near the intersection of East Xyler and North Fulton on Coal Creek.

Tulsa firefighters, police and EMSA were at the scene.

A News On 6 crew discovered the drowning victim's body shortly before 10 a.m. The station waited until police notified family members to release the information.

Dario Hogan, 14, was last seen playing in a creek in north Tulsa with friends. He was washed away by swiftly-moving waters in Saturday night's severe storms.

Crews responded to a 911 call just before 9 p.m. Saturday reporting that three young teens were playing in Coal Creek at East Pine Street and North.

Police, firefighters and EMSA searched throughout the night, walking river banks for several miles. Tulsa Police helicopters and Urban Rescue search dog teams also assisted, according to Tulsa Fire Department Assistant Chief Doug Wood.

10/14/2012 Related Story: Search Resumes For Tulsa Teen Swept Away In Rain-Swollen Creek

"We started at Independence and Quebec, searched the creek all the way north to about Yale," Wood said Sunday morning. "We made it all the way to Apache last night."

Wood said the creek is fairly well maintained but has overgrown areas between Pine and Apache and east of Yale where firefighters planned to concentrate the search Sunday.

Firefighters say the current was very strong at the time of the teen's disappearance. The other two boys are home safe.

Beccy Towry lives along the creek and when a heavy rain comes through she said it fills up fast.

"[The water gets] at least 3 or 4 feet, and it gets really swift," Towry said. "I mean, you can hear the water rushing."

Neighbors say it's not uncommon to see kids playing near the creek, especially after a hard rain.

Tulsa police say that's what Hogan and two other teens were doing Saturday night when two of the boys fell in the rushing water.

"One young man was pulled out by an anonymous citizen, resuscitated," TPD Sgt. Cathy Reynolds said.

Reynolds said Hogan was actually trying to save his friend, but the current was just too strong.

"When he saw his friend slip into the creek, he tried to pull him out and he, too, was pulled into the creek," Reynolds said. "Even if you can swim, there's just no way you can combat the strength of the waters."

Search and rescue crews canvassed the area well into the night before calling off the search.

The News On 6 crew picked a somewhat remote area of Coal Creek to shoot video and as photojournalist Todd Ruffin was doing that, he noticed a body caught up in debris, about a mile and a half from the creek bank where Hogan fell into the water. At the time, Ruffin said he didn't believe it was real.

"Folks just don't realize how dangerous high waters, rushing waters can be," Reynolds said.