Divers continuing search for missing woman's body

24-year-old presumably drowned in filled quarry

July 04, 2000|By Julie Bykowicz | Julie Bykowicz,SUN STAFF

After working for 11 hours, divers ceased their search last night for the body of a Howard County woman who presumably drowned Saturday at Beaver Dam Swim Club in Cockeysville. They will resume this morning.

Baltimore County fire and police officers began their search for Jamee Eben, 24, of Ring Dove Lane in Columbia, Saturday evening after she disappeared beneath the water while swimming with her boyfriend and two other friends at the club, in the 10800 block of Beaver Dam Road.

The club is a filled quarry used as a swimming hole.

Eben is thought to have been pulled under in about 40 feet of water.

Officials called off their first full day of searching at 8:15 p.m. and resumed yesterday at 6 a.m. A squad from the Maryland State Police joined them.

Eben's mother and father were at the site yesterday as the police diving team searched the quarry.

Alonza Williams, public information officer for the Fire Department, said the search was made especially difficult by the quarry's cold, murky water.

Rescuers took the Chesapeake Canine Search and Rescue Unit out on a boat Sunday to pick up the woman's scent. The dogs seemed to detect a human scent in the area where Eben's friends said she was last seen. Divers concentrated on that area until late yesterday afternoon, when the dogs picked up a human scent in another area, and divers widened the search.

"This is a slow, tedious process that we're hoping to complete as quickly as possible," Williams said.

Baltimore County police said they were having a difficult time rounding up officers to continue the search today because of prior commitments, including several Fourth of July parades.

Passersby peered down from the tree-lined top of the quarry yesterday as divers scoured the area.

Eben would be Beaver Dam Swim Club's third drowning victim in a little more than four years.

On Aug. 12, Gary Brohawn, 42, of Port Richey, Fla., was swimming in the quarry about 2 p.m. when he disappeared. His body was found that evening in 50 feet of water.

The body of a Baltimore man, Reginald Gray, 21, was found June 16, 1996. Police believe he drowned in the quarry.

The quarry is best known for providing stone for the Washington Monument, the U.S. Capitol and white-marble rowhouse steps in Baltimore. Since the 1930s, the Beaver Dam Swim Club has occupied the site.

The quarry was closed Sunday afternoon and yesterday as officials searched for Eben's body.

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