BY DORIS COOK
ROAMING SHORES – The body of Keegan Maple, 25, of Jefferson Township, was recovered near the dam area of Lake Roaming Rock in Roaming Shores Village on Saturday, March 10.
The body was found by the Ashtabula County Water Rescue Team (ACWRT) during an underwater search around 5 p.m. Saturday, said Ashtabula County Coroner’s Office Investigator Keith Stewart.
Shores Village Police Chief Will Roskos said, “We got a report verified by two local residents of seeing a person swimming in the lake at around 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24. The Roaming Shores PD went to the area of Lark Court for the complaint of a person swimming, then the person disappeared several yards south of the dam. A number of county fire agencies and the county water rescue team did an exhaustive search of the area and revealed nothing.”
The agencies responding then included Morgan FD, South Central Ambulance District and fire departments from Geneva, Monroe, Rome, Saybrook, Sheffield and Wayne, plus the Ashtabula County Water Rescue Team and SCAD, Chief Roskos added.
“The county water rescue team did make other attempts to locate a body. Then on last Saturday, March 10, with the annual Polar Bear Plunge going on with them all here, the Ashtabula County Water Rescue Team undertook another search. They did find a body by the dam area of the lake. We never got any missing persons report here,” said Shore Village Police Chief Roskos.
Coroner’s Office Investigator Stewart was immediately called to the scene on Saturday by the ACWRT and Shores Village PD, said ACWRT team coordinator Ed Koziol.
The investigation is ongoing by our county coroner and Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Office, said Koziol early this past Tuesday morning.
The drowning victim’s body was transported to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office for autopsy and toxicology tests, Stewart told Gazette Newspapers this Tuesday, March 13.
“The victim (Maple) was fully clothed when found. A wallet with photo ID was also found on the body. We held up releasing the name of the person until all the family members were notified,” Stewart continued. “The water rescue team took their sonar equipment on Saturday when they were at the lake for the Polar Bear Plunge. They detected something by the dam area and sent a team underwater to retrieve the body.”
“The drowning victim did not live in the Shores area, but in Jefferson Township. The Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Office is also part of the investigation,” Stewart added.
Investigator Stewart said at this stage, the investigation authorities have no idea why Maple swam into Lake Roaming Rock. The recreation lake is part of the Rome Rock Association, a private lake residential property owners association making up the Village of Roaming Shores.
“The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office is doing a toxicology report. It takes some weeks up to two months to get the report back, although we do get a preliminary report of their findings sooner. There also was no abandoned vehicle found in the nearby area of the lake community,” said Coroner’s Investigator Stewart.
Ashtabula County Sheriff William Johnson stated on March 13, “We are waiting (also) for the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office reports. I can comment that we were looking for Keegan Maple, and that’s all I can say now.”
The Gazette Newspapers published a report in the March 1st issue of The Shores News about a Shores resident spotting “someone swimming in the lake.” Shores Village Police Department received the report with an initial search by fire departments and SCAD, yielding no results at the time.