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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.

  • Craig_w_floyd_and_chaplain_david_matthew_with_the_police_banner_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Rest in Peace Deputy Gross: It is not how these officers died that made them heroes it is how they lived. And yes thanks to God for heroes of the thin blue line. Amen.

  • Untitledma28839986-0002_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Rest in Peace Deputy Gross. Thank you for your service.

  • Img00033-20091202-1845_1__max50


    about 3 years ago


    RIP Brother. God Bless your family!

  • World_trade_center_max50


    about 3 years ago


    RIP Deputy Gross you are a true hero and you saved a life. God Bless

  • Kevlar_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Double Bump Robocop! RIP Deputy Gross... You are a TRUE HERO!

  • Anonymous-killer-whale-232189_1__max50


    about 3 years ago


    Bump Robocop33, in spades !!!!!

  • shadow_officer

    about 3 years ago



  • Uniphone1_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Very tragic! But this LEO did his job without hesitation and thus is a TRUE HERO! I guess I'm overly-sensitive tonight but, a 14 year-old "distraught over her boyfriend jumped in the river"??? Sigh.....Rest in Peace Deputy Gross and God Bless!

    "Train for the Fight"

  • White_shirt_max50


    about 3 years ago


    This is a follow up on the child who had a spat with her boyfriend and jumped in the water. To bad she cannot be held accountable. robocop33 ditto.

  • Thinker_max50


    about 3 years ago


    A true hero who made the ultimate sacrifice in trying to save another. RIP...

  • Nag_max50


    about 3 years ago



  • 1979_max50


    about 3 years ago


    I am very glad that they were able to locate Deputy Gross' body. This man lost his life trying to save this little girl. I hope she realizes her little drama queen act killed this wonderful man.

  • Alancopphoto_max600_max50


    about 3 years ago


    This is another example of what WE strive to be everyday. Thank you for your service and sacrifice. You have left an amazing legacy. RIP

  • Thin_blue_line_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Rest In Peace Deputy Gross. May God comfort those affected by this loss.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 3 years ago


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