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Body of Missing Deputy Found Four Days After Disappearance

Body of Missing Deputy Found Four Days After Disappearance

Associated Press

August 01, 2011

CONVERSE COUNTY, WY – The body of a Wyoming deputy who jumped in the North Platte River to assist a distressed girl was discovered Sunday.

It was the fourth day of searching for 29-year-old Bryan P. Gross, of the Converse County sheriff’s office, who was hailed as a hero for attempting to save a teenage girl who appeared to be struggling in the river Thursday evening. The girl survived, but Gross was swept away in the high-flowing North Platte River swollen by heavy snowmelt.

County Sheriff Clinton Becker said Gross’ body was found late Sunday morning in the river about a mile and a half from where Gross entered.

Searchers from several law enforcement agencies and civilian volunteers checked the banks of the river. Divers, dogs and a helicopter helped in the search. The sheriff did not describe how Gross was located.

“Anytime you go into the water like that, it’s heroic,” said Douglas Mayor Bruce Jones on Friday. “Of course to him, he’s probably just doing his job.”

Jones said the situation is hitting his town hard.

The girl entered the waterway near the Douglas Yellowstone Bridge, which joins both sides of Douglas, 50 miles east of Casper.

Gross went into the river from one side while several others swam in from the other, Undersheriff Don Schoenleber said.

Other emergency workers recovered the girl about a mile downstream Thursday evening and took her to a hospital. Schoenleber declined to identify the girl.

Steve Henning, Douglas city administrator, said the girl was 14 years old and was in town for a 4-H fair.

“She was distraught with her boyfriend, and she jumped in the river,” Henning said.

Gross worked as a Douglas police officer for a few years before recently joining the sheriff’s department.

Henning said Gross had worked at the police department as a drug officer, handling a trained dog. He added Gross had gotten married within the past month or so to a woman who worked as a receptionist for the city.

Searchers, including some using boats and aircraft including a military helicopter, worked the river by daylight, Schoenleber said. And deputies used lights to scan the water overnight to keep watch for Gross, while searchers walked the riverbank sometimes assisted by tracking dogs.

The North Platte River near Douglas is higher than normal following heavy snows last winter.

Deputy State Engineer Harry C. LaBonde said the river was running at 6,620 cubic feet per second Friday at a nearby gauging station, downstream from Douglas. He said the flow averaged only 2,110 cfs on the same date over the past 60 years.

“It’s higher than you would expect this time of year based on the water we’re having with all of the snow and the releases from all the federal reservoirs,” LaBonde said.

There have been several deaths in Wyoming this year associated with flooding and high water, including four members of a Colorado family killed earlier this month when a highway washed out in a heavy rainstorm.

President Barack Obama last week declared a major disaster in Wyoming because of spring and summer flooding. The declaration opened the way for the federal government to help the state pay for costs incurred from damaged roads, highways and other infrastructure.

  • Officer_2520down_2520cop_max50


    about 3 years ago


    this man was a hero!!! RIP my brother...

  • Marvin_max50


    about 3 years ago


    God bless you brother. There is no greater love then to lay down your life for another.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 3 years ago


    RIP Deputy Gross, prayers out to family and co workers.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 3 years ago


    OMG, this is so sad.
    GODSPEED my brother and
    to your family and friends as well.

  • Police_car_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Go with God my brother!!!!

  • Blue_line_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Rest in peace brother. God stand beside his family.

  • Thi_seal_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Rest in Peace Brother, We have the Watch!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 3 years ago


  • Bike2008-22_max50


    about 3 years ago


    RIP Deputy Gross, prayers out to family and co workers.

  • Flags_and_stars_max50


    about 3 years ago


    RIP Deputy Gross

  • 01-08-09_1415_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Rest easy Bro. We'll take it from here.

  • 20131224_184758_max50


    about 3 years ago


    I hope this girl realizes the damage she has done due to her drama over what heppened with her boyfriend, in my believe she should be held responsible for what occured.
    Rest In Peace Ofc. Gross ... Our prayers go to all your loved ones and department.

  • Fallenherobadge-3-1_max50_max50


    about 3 years ago


    RIP Sir you will not be forgotten. Thank you for your service. My prayers go out to your family, friends, department and community. I pray you did not suffer.

  • Car_004_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Rest In Peace Brother, God Bless Your Soul......A TRUE HERO.

    Kids do not consider anyone else when they pull their stupid stunts. The only person in their world is them and their stupid stunts can have a very negative impact on others, to bad she had to learn this lesson at the expense of a great man's life.

  • Meangreen01_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Rest in peace brother.

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