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Body Found In River ID'd As MA Police Officer

Body Found In River ID'd As MA Police Officer

Boston Globe via YellowBrix

July 25, 2011

TYNGSBOROUGH, MA – Two men were killed — one of them a decorated Lowell police officer and former Marine — in separate incidents in two Massachusetts rivers during the weekend, authorities said.

While riding in a motor boat with his brother and another friend on the Merrimack River Saturday evening, Lowell patrol officer Charles Panek told his companions he was going to jump into the water and asked them to turn around and pick him up, according to Tyngsborough police.

He jumped off while the 18-foot vessel was traveling about 20 miles per hour, police said. When the boat circled back seconds later, he did not surface.

Tyngsborough police pulled the body of the 30-year-old officer from the river late Saturday night, about three hours after they were alerted.

Today in Attleboro, another man apparently drowned in the Ten Mile River, near a wooded walking trail, officials said. Detective Sergeant Arthur Brillon, an Attleboro Police Department spokesman, said the victim, who was discovered about 10:40 a.m. by a woman walking nearby, was a 49-year-old Attleboro man whose name was withheld until his family was notified.

“Right now there’s nothing suspicious,” Brillon said in a brief telephone interview. Tyngsborough police Lieutenant Richard Howe said police received a call about 8:43 p.m. that a man had jumped from a boat into the Merrimack River and failed to surface. Rescuers searched the river until he was found in about 14 feet of water, approximately 300 feet offshore, north of a boat ramp at 76 Frost Road, Howe said.

Panek of Dracut was pronounced dead at the scene, Howe said. The state medical examiner’s office is investigating his cause of death.

According to the Lowell police department and family members, Panek was a decorated police officer and former Marine, who had served in the Iraq War. He also served in the Rhode Island Army National Guard, and was scheduled to be deployed soon to Afghanistan, police said.

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of Lowell police officer, Charles S. Panek. Our thoughts, prayers, and deepest sympathies go out to the family of Officer Panek,” said Lowell police superintendent Kenneth Lavallee. “[He] will be sadly missed by all members of the Lowell Police Department and the citizens within our community.”

Panek’s mother Sandra Panek, of Pelham, N.H. said her son was very social and athletic, and loved his work in the military and law enforcement.


“He just loved life,” Sandra said. “He was the type of person that did more in 30 years than most did in 90.”

Panek had earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal justice from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell and had been on the police force since 2006, his mother said. He was honored with the state’s second highest award for police officers after a 2008 incident when he took down an armed man, without injury to the gunman or himself, Sandra said.

“He was there to take care of people,” his mother said. “Whether it was on the police force or in Iraq or where he was going in Afghanistan, he believed what he was doing was helping people.”

The search for Panek involved crews from the Tyngsborough, Hudson, Lowell and Nashua, N.H., fire departments as well as police dive teams from Lowell, Nashua and the Massachusetts State Police, Howe said. A State Police helicopter also assisted with the search, according to David Procopio, a State Police spokesman.

Panek’s death is being investigated by Tyngsborough and State police. The man’s death in Attleboro is under investigation by the Bristol District Attorney’s office, according to a police statement.


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  • Gods_team_max50

    IowaNinersFan

    over 2 years ago

    15178 Comments

    RIP Officer Panek.

  • Sheriff_3_max50

    sheriff950

    over 2 years ago

    5370 Comments

    Rest in peace my brother....

  • Anonymous-killer-whale-232189_1__max50

    Whalewatcher

    over 2 years ago

    10918 Comments

    Rest in peace, Officer Panek.

  • shadow_officer

    over 2 years ago

    8564 Comments

    RIP brother

  • Snoopy_6_max50

    Jonas

    over 2 years ago

    41146 Comments

    Rest In Peace Sir. My prayers and sympathies for all family and friends.

  • 367926427_m_max50

    hawk639

    over 2 years ago

    30 Comments

    PJ you were an inspiration to those of us who shared time with you. RIP Brother.

  • Sparkle_girl_max50

    Katz

    over 2 years ago

    8262 Comments

    Tragic. Prayers to his family. Rest in Peace Officer Charles Panek.

  • 1393794_10151798561878138_392793313_n_max50

    Blueblood1974

    over 2 years ago

    5192 Comments

    BAD RIP BROTHERS.

  • Pug_max600_max50

    DALLASCRANE

    over 2 years ago

    19386 Comments

    RIPB

  • Nag_max50

    bsears

    over 2 years ago

    9372 Comments

    RIP

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    orion063

    over 2 years ago

    10 Comments

    RIP. May God bless your family and friends.

  • 2011_range_day_2-19-10_max50

    USLawman1983

    over 2 years ago

    1572 Comments

    RIP Brother.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    MACK2014

    over 2 years ago

    168 Comments

    RIP BROTHER

  • Bronzestarribbon_max50

    csiguy

    over 2 years ago

    824 Comments

    Rest in Peace Brother!

  • Imagesca4xarl3gatekeeper911_max50

    RAMBO_911

    over 2 years ago

    68990 Comments

    RIP Brother!

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