Cowan Lake drowning victims are identified


COWAN LAKE STATE PARK — The bodies recovered from a submerged pickup truck near a campground boat ramp in Cowan Lake on Tuesday were identified as an Northwest Ohio newspaper sports editor and his girlfriend.

The Clinton County coroner identified the bodies as though of Kendrick Scott Jesionawski, 50, of Kenton, and Lisa Lynne Reiss, 57, of Marysville, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) announced.

Dive teams were searching Cowan Lake on Tuesday after two adults were reported missing, a representative with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources confirmed to AIM Media Midwest.

Jesionawski, sports editor at the Kenton newspaper the Kenton Times, and Reiss were camping at Cowan Lake State Park. According to work colleague, reporter Dan Robinson — whose desk is next to Jesionawski’s — Jesionawski was with his girlfriend. Reiss was an independent beauty consultant, according to her Facebook page, and was previously a longtime employee of Honda.

The couple planned to attend a weekend horse show at the World Equestrian Center in Wilmington.

ODNR Natural Resources officers were assisted by the Loveland-Symmes Task Force 1 dive team and the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office.

Crews were on the scene at the state park since early afternoon, police scanner traffic indicated.

The ODNR stated that a target of interest was identified about 10 feet underwater, and later a truck was being towed out of the water near the banks of the lake and where a circular drive is close to the lake.

Robinson mentioned the possibility that a hard rain Friday night may have been a contributing factor.

Kenton is in Hardin County, about 30 miles east of Lima, and about 75 miles northwest of Columbus and the same distance northeast of Dayton.

The investigation into the couple’s whereabouts started Monday after the man’s son called 911, according to WLWT5 reports.

“My dad went down to the horse show that was there this weekend … he left on Thursday and he told me that he’d be back around, like sometime Saturday or Sunday, and he’s still not back yet,” the man’s son said, WLWT reported.

He said his father and his father’s girlfriend made the trip to the Wilmington area with horses for a show at the World Equestrian Center. This week, it is hosting a quarter horse competition.

While there, the couple was camping at Cowan Lake State Park.

“His phone’s been, like, not able to connect, like, it goes straight to voicemail, and none of the texts are sending or anything,” the man’s son said, WLWT reported.

According to documents released to WLWT by the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office, the man’s phone last pinged just after 12 a.m. Saturday. His girlfriend’s phone last pinged just before midnight.

After deputies began looking into their whereabouts, they learned a co-worker of the missing woman had received a voicemail from her around midnight Saturday. The deputy wrote in the report you could hear her “screaming frantically that they were drowning in Cowan Lake,” according to WLWT.

The ODNR took over the investigation from there.

The ramp leading into the lake isn’t far from the campground where the couple had been staying, and a sign leading up to the lake reads “road ends in water.”


ODNR says target of interest was located about 10 feet underwater

AIM Media Midwest

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