Body At Dam Identified As Pa. Boat Victim

March 31, 1991|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Staff writer

Investigators have identified a body found last Sunday in the Susquehanna River as a Pennsylvania man involved in a boating accident thathappened four months ago and nearly 50 miles upriver, the county Sheriff's Department said.

The man was identified as Leroy R. Funk, 48, of Elizabethtown, Lancaster County, the department said. Funk's body was at the Conowingo Dam.

The body of his 33-year-old wife, apparently also killed in the boating accident, has never been found.

Funk and his wife, PatriciaA., were operating a 16-foot John boat when it went over the Red Hill Dam near Three Mile Island, south of Harrisburg on Nov. 16, 1990, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Fish Commission said.

"It's amazing he got that far down," said Daniel G. Martin, a spokesman for the commission's Boating Accident Division. "He had to go over two other dams. It's a piece."

The Red Hill Dam is 47 miles from the Conowingo Dam in northern Harford County. The two facilities are separated by the Holtwood and Safe Harbor dams, on the Susquehanna between Lancaster and York counties, Pa.

Funk's body was found, floating face up, by a construction worker at the Conowingo Dam about 1 p.m. said DeWayne D. Curry, a spokesman for the sheriff's department.

Funk's body was taken to the state Medical Examiner's Office in Baltimore foran autopsy. The autopsy determined that cause of Funk's death was drowning, Curry said.

County and Pennsylvania investigators do not suspect foul play.

Curry said Funk was wearing blue jeans, two 18-inch gold chains around his neck and one tan work boot when his body was found. Funk had two tattoos, one said "I Love You Pat." The other said "Theresa."

Curry said the department's investigators, workingwith the Pennsylvania Fish Commission, identified Funk by reviewing missing persons reports and matching dental records. Attempts to match fingerprints were difficult because of the body's decomposition, Curry said.

Martin said investigators were told by accident witnesses on the river banks that the Funks were using a spotlight to find deer along the banks when their boat approached the Red Hill Dam. Witnesses said the couple tried to turn the boat around, but it went over the dam sideways.

The boat went down a 10-foot drop into 6 feet ofwater, Martin said.

Martin said the Funks were experienced boaters, but he added that witnesses said they were not wearing life jackets at the time of the accident.

Emergency personnel were unable to find the bodies of the Funks after the accident, although their boat was recovered, Martin said.

Funk was a house painter at Blue RidgePainting in Middletown, Pa.

He and his wife, who did not have children, were declared legally dead during a Lancaster County Court hearing on Tuesday, the Lancaster New Era newspaper reported.

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