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Law enforcement are continuing their search for a Madison man who jumped from the Kentucky River Bridge between Prestonville and Carrollton on Thursday, June 21.
An anonymous person called the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office at approximately 10:15 a.m. Thursday regarding a naked man standing on the rail of the bridge between Carrollton and Prestonville, according to a news release. Carrollton Police Assistant Chief Steve Abbott arrived on scene approximately 30 seconds later.
“When I arrived, I found blue jeans folded and lying on the railing, a pair of shoes on the sidewalk and a bag tied to the pants with a note inside,” Abbott said in the release. “I immediately dispatched Carroll County Rescue, EMS and other emergency services to begin searching the Kentucky River and surrounding area.”
Russell Wade Meisberger, 40, of Madison, has been identified as the jumper, according to the Carrollton Police Department.
According to Abbott, approximately three hours into the search, an eyewitness came forward and said she saw a naked man jump from the bridge. Abbott said the incident is being investigated as a suicide.
Authorities searched the Kentucky River until approximately 1 a.m. Friday, June 22. Numerous agencies participated in the water search, including Boone County Water Rescue, Commonwealth Canine Search & Recovery cadaver dogs, Ghent Fire Protection District, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Coast Guard and Carroll County Rescue. Boone County and Ghent both used technical sonar equipment to search for the man, and Boone County has a rover computer that will descend into the water and identify an object or a person, according to the release.
The rescue squad and other local law enforcement searched the riverbanks and surrounding areas before the technical search teams arrived.
Searchers said the water was calm and there was not much current so they do not believe the man’s body flowed into the Ohio River, according to the sheriff’s office.
The search continued daily through Sunday
Crews continued to search the Kentucky and Ohio rivers by boat daily through Sunday for the majority of the day, Carroll County Emergency Operations Director Ed Webb said Monday. However, the missing man was not found. The following agencies were involved in the weekend search: Commonwealth Canine Search & Recovery, Carroll County Rescue Squad, Carroll County EMS, Carroll County Emergency Management, Milton Fire and Rescue, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, Carrollton Police Department, Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, Ghent Fire Protection District and the City of Carrollton.
Effective Monday, the search was scaled down to visual searches twice daily, Webb said. These will probably continue for about a week or until the man is found, he said.
The Carrollton Police Department is leading the investigation. They were assisted at the scene Thursday by the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, Carrollton Fire Department, Kentucky State Police, Carroll County Rescue, Ghent Fire Protection District, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, Boone County Water Rescue, Commonwealth Canine Search & Recovery, and the U.S. Coast Guard.
If anyone has information regarding this case, contact the Carrollton Police Department at (502) 732-6621.