By The Chronicle
The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office now considers a man who went overboard July 5 on Mineral Lake a missing person, rather than a drowning victim, Chief Deputy Bruce Kimsey told The Chronicle this morning.
Deputies from the Sheriff’s Office were dispatched at about 4 p.m. July 5 to a report of a drowning on Mineral lake. They arrived and contacted a 49-year-old woman in a boat who reported her companion went into the water and didn’t come back out.
The man, later identified as Gerald L. Harris, 54, of Mineral, was presumed to have drowned at the time.
Deputies searched the area and were unable to locate Harris or his body. They reportedly checked his residence and other locations in Mineral. The next day, the boating unit of the Sheriff’s Office conducted additional searches of the water.
On Friday, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department Dive Team conducted additional searches with sonar technology.
Despite the clear water and use of the sonar, no evidence of Harris’s body was found, Kimsey said.
“We’re treating it as a missing person case,” he said.
Kimsey said the Sheriff’s Office is unsure if Harris entered the water then swam to shore.
No witnesses other than the 49-year-old woman have been located, he added.
“She was extremely intoxicated,” Kimsey said. “She had some issues trying to explain the story.”
Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to call the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office at 360-748-9286 or Lewis County 911 Communications at 360-740-1105.