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HERMITAGE Searchers find body in Shenango River



Published: Tue, July 23, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The fisherman's friends didn't realize he was missing until after dark.

By HAROLD GWIN

VINDICATOR SHARON BUREAU

HERMITAGE, Pa. -- Authorities say Randy J. Dando may have stepped into a hole while fishing along in the Shenango River just below the Shenango River Lake Dam.

Searchers found his body in about 10 feet of water about 100 yards upstream from the Kelly Road Bridge Monday afternoon. He was last seen fishing alone there about 9 p.m. Sunday.

The river generally isn't deep there and can be waded across, but there are a number of holes that can't be seen from the surface and Dando was found in one of them, said Fire Marshal Robert Goeltz.

Dando, 26, of New Bedford Road, was fishing with friends but became separated from the group around 7 p.m. They never saw him again and didn't report him missing until shortly before 10 p.m. after they couldn't find him.

Authorities said others fishing along the river reported seeing a man in the area where Dando was later found.

Found

When last seen, he was wearing wader boots, which would make it difficult to get out of deep water, but they weren't on him when his body was recovered, said J. Bradley McGonigle, Mercer County coroner, who pronounced him dead at the scene at 12:45 p.m. Monday. An autopsy was being done today, he said.

Goeltz said Dando's baseball cap was found in the river near where he was last seen.

The Army Corps of Engineers cut down the water flow coming out of the dam overnight, dropping the river by about 10 inches Monday morning, Goeltz said. Searchers using dogs pinpointed an area near where Dando was last seen, and divers found him, Goeltz said.

The search was a major team effort, Goeltz said, noting that the Pennsylvania State Police and STAT MedEvac provided helicopters to view the river from the air, while the Jamestown and Clark volunteer fire departments provided divers.




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