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Archive for Saturday, September 12, 1992

RIC ANDERSON

September 12, 1992

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A 3-year-old Topeka boy missing since Thursday from a Clinton Lake campground was found drowned Friday afternoon, authorities said.

A sweeping search for the boy ended early Friday afternoon when the boy's body was discovered in the water near a boat ramp.

Douglas County sheriff's Lt. Mike Suitt said the body of Adam Edmonds was found by divers about 1 p.m. Friday at a boat ramp in a northside campground at Clinton Lake State Park.

Drowning was ruled the cause of death by Douglas County Deputy Coroner Dr. Laurance Price, who conducted an autopsy on the boy Friday afternoon at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

There were no signs of foul play, officials said.

The incident was the first drowning at Clinton Lake this year, Sheriff Loren Anderson said.

Suitt said the boat ramp was about 25 yards away from a restroom where the boy's father last saw him alive shortly before 7 p.m. Thursday.

BERNARD Edmonds, the boy's father, reported to authorities that he and Adam went into the restroom together. Adam left the restroom about 15 to 30 seconds before his father, Anderson said.

When Bernard Edmonds got out of the restroom, authorities said, Adam was gone.

Suitt said it appeared that Adam either fell off or jumped off a dock at the boat ramp.

Sheriff's Sgt. Betty Pringle said the boy and his father had been camping at the lake.

While the search for the boy was under way Friday morning, officials and a relative of the boy feared he might have been abducted.

Anderson said on Friday night that officials had closed the investigation of the case after the autopsy revealed drowning was the cause of death.

"We certainly don't have anyting to indicate it was anything but accidental drowning," Anderson said.

He said the boat ramp where the boy may have fallen is not particularly dangerous.

"IT'S THE same as every other boat ramp," he said. "It's easy to fall off any boat ramp, I guess. The construction is the same as all the other boat ramps that I've seen at every other (Army) Corps (of Engineers) lake."

"This is the first time we've had a 3-year-old fall off and drown, but I'm sure other people have fallen off."

Thursday night, as many as 250 people gathered to search for Adam. Searchers included law enforcement officers, firefighters and campers. Aided by a Kansas National Guard helicopter and night-vision equipment from Fort Riley, searchers combed the area until 4 a.m. Friday. The search resumed around daybreak Friday. Twenty-five searchers, including six divers, were on hand Friday.

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