Print

News >> Browse Articles >> Officer Down News

-36

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.


-36
  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    about 3 years ago

    RIP

  • Steve_mcqueen_max50

    ilegworldchamp

    about 3 years ago

    8966 Comments

    God Speed My Friend.

  • Cops4christ_max50

    SpencerStangz

    about 3 years ago

    422 Comments

    RIP...

  • Cpusey-001_max50

    Chief171

    about 3 years ago

    3192 Comments

    RIP....

  • Policelinkbadge_max160_max50_max50

    Gombino

    about 3 years ago

    2658 Comments

    Rest in Peace, Brother.

  • Police_link_badge_max50

    HEYSARGE

    about 3 years ago

    16726 Comments

    RIP

  • Cruise_2014_max50

    BigNTS

    about 3 years ago

    6824 Comments

    RIP, brother.

  • Alex_453_max50

    alex82

    about 3 years ago

    2736 Comments

    My Deepest Condolences for the Officers Family, I Know that there are no Words to Comfort Them in Their Tragic Loss, LORD JESUS, Please Please Shine Your Healing Love Upon Their Hearts and Please Welcome Home Another Faithful Servant, Thank You LORD, Amen

  • 12235_sq90_max50

    chiefkcr

    about 3 years ago

    3614 Comments

    RIP My Brother we have the watch now. GOD be with you and yours.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    tremor2

    about 3 years ago

    430 Comments

    RIP officer. Condolences to his family and his LE agency. Although his death is tragic, there are lessons to be
    learned here for others who are going to be boating this summer: (1) PLEASE consume alcoholic beverages
    responsibly, and (2) EVERYONE on a boat should wear a safety vest (it's required of every passenger on a
    pleasure boat in my state). I love boating, but it's got to be done responsibly by everyone in order to prevent
    needless tragedies.

  • 1979_max50

    Robocop33

    about 3 years ago

    14618 Comments

    RIP my Brother. What a senseless way to die and a waste of a very good man. I am going to speculate that he may have hit his head on something floating down the river and knocked unconscious, drowned. I lived very close to that river when I was growing up and it was really a pretty scary river at the point I lived on it near the mouth.

  • Eagle_and_flag_max50

    36TR

    about 3 years ago

    7620 Comments

    RIP, Brother!!!!

  • 100_0456_sq90_max50

    115

    about 3 years ago

    24 Comments

    RIP brother

  • Heores_max50

    kweikman

    about 3 years ago

    796 Comments

    So very sad. Rest peacefully Officer Panek

  • Screen_shot_2011-04-10_at_8

    T_9

    about 3 years ago

    5668 Comments

    Rest in peace brother, thank you for all your service.

PoliceLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a criminal justice degree program. Use PoliceLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.

Recent Activity

Female_bodysurfer_max30
MarlyB posted in: "American Sniper Widow to Pay", 20 minutes ago.
Female_bodysurfer_max30
MarlyB posted in: "I made it!!!", 32 minutes ago.
Fall_2007_027__2__max30
MetroRW30 commented on: "David Simms", 37 minutes ago.