Woman's body recovered from Patapsco River She died Wednesday with friend while rafting in high water

June 22, 1996|By Robert A. Erlandson | Robert A. Erlandson,SUN STAFF

The Patapsco River receded enough yesterday to allow recovery of the body of Julie Christine Wise, 29, who drowned Wednesday with a male companion when raging floodwaters swamped their inflatable raft near the Union Dam, above Ellicott City.

Late yesterday, Baltimore County police confirmed the indentity of the man as Thomas Eugene Dickson, 29. He and Wise lived together in the first block of Triple Crown Court in Woodlawn.

They were thrown from the raft, which was carried over the six-foot-high dam. The racing current pulled Wise and Dickson through flow-control devices on the dam.

Dickson's body washed ashore below Ellicott City and was recovered about 5: 15 p.m. Wednesday. Wise's body was seen that evening, snagged on a tree about a mile above Ellicott City, but continued flooding from the torrential rains and runoff made it unsafe until yesterday for authorities to reach it using a small boat about 2: 30 p.m.

Wise's mother confirmed a preliminary identification made by a family friend, while relatives identified Dickson's body, police said.

The recovery party used a road-rail vehicle on the CSX tracks on the Howard County side of the Patapsco to carry them and equipment to the point on the river where the boat could be launched.

The rafters were among four people whose deaths were attributed to the series of intense storms. Karen D. Roman, 36, drowned in Frederick County, and Orion James, 28, died after lightning struck him as he worked on a roof in Baltimore.

Roman's body was found about a mile downstream from a water-covered bridge over Little Owens Creek, near Emmitsburg, where her abandoned car was found.

Pub Date: 6/22/96

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