May 14, 2022

Authorities locate remains of a drowning victim at Milford Lake

Posted May 14, 2022 1:54 AM
Photo - WIBW TV
Photo - WIBW TV

Geary County Sheriff's Department authorities have recovered the remains of a man last seen swimming to shore in Milford Lake on April 30.

With help from Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Parks Division, members of the Geary County Sheriff's Office Marine Unit and Sheriff's Office / Junction City Fire Department dive team recovered  the remains of Jesse Paul Sockness, 41, of Lawrence. The recovery occurred after boaters saw his body floating in the water about 300 yards north of where Sockness was suspected of entering the water. The location was in the Curtis Creek area on the west side of Milford Lake.

Deputies had responded to Eagle Ridge Campground in Milford State Park at 3:29 p.m. on April 30 for a woman who had drifted into shoreline in a homemade water vessel. 

According to the Sheriff's Department, the woman said at that time that she and a man ( Sockness ) were walking the shoreline near Curtis Creek when they located a water vessel made from 55 gallon drums and 2x4 lumber. The couple entered the water in the vessel when they were caught by the wind and were being pulled toward the main body of the lake. The man jumped into the water to swim to shore to call for help. He was last seen in the water as the woman drifted away in the vessel.

The incident is being investigated as an accidental drowning, pending autopsy results.