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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Missing kayaker found dead

Friday, May 6, 2011

REELSVILLE -- A missing Putnam County kayaker has been found dead, more than two weeks after he initially went missing.

Putnam County Sheriff's Department chief deputy Doug Nally said the body of David Pritchett, 48, was found in the Reelsville area. Nally said that Department of Natural Resources conservation officers found the body while they searched using boats.

"They located him right along the banks, still partially submerged in the water," said Nally.

Reelsville fire chief John McPherson said the body was found not far from the bridge that had previously been used as a search staging area.

"Conservation officers were on the water and located the body right around 11 a.m. (Thursday). It was about 200 yards west of CR 625 S (on Big Walnut Creek)," McPherson said. "The body was found in probably about five feet of water but it was visible from the river.

"The body was intact, so we were able to make a positive I.D. right then and there," he said.

McPherson said the body was taken to Terre Haute Regional Hospital where an autopsy was scheduled at 8 a.m. today.

Pritchett originally launched his kayak April 19 at 6:30 p.m. between two large rainstorms. His family reported him missing around 10 p.m. and the search began that night. McPherson said Pritchett's kayak was not found.

"We haven't found the kayak, the hip waders he was in... or his paddle, nothing," McPherson said.

The search for Pritchett was frequently hampered by bad weather.

"It just seemed like every time we'd get ready to do a search, it would rain so much it would flood out or there would be a flash flood or something," McPherson said.

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Dave, you are a good man, an excellent father and a tremendous loss to our Operations. We miss you already and to your boys and wife, my deepest and most sincere condolences...

Your Friend and co-worker, Joe McKinney

-- Posted by Joe McKinney on Thu, May 5, 2011, at 4:23 PM

Very sad. A kind man gone too soon...

-- Posted by LivininAvon on Thu, May 5, 2011, at 4:52 PM

I am very saddened by this news. I was hoping that he had found a way out and into some shelter although the outcome would have probably been the same.

Thank you to the DNR and all others for not giving up the search for Dave. I am sure you all had many restless nights knowing that he was out there but that the water was too high to find him.

To Daves family, my thoughts and prayers are with you all.

To Dave, may you rest in peace!

-- Posted by dbltrbl on Thu, May 5, 2011, at 8:16 PM

So sorry Michelle and boys. Peace be with you!

-- Posted by Juanita on Thu, May 5, 2011, at 8:29 PM

So saddened to hear of this loss. My heart goes out to the family. God bless.

-- Posted by alittleopinion on Fri, May 6, 2011, at 8:41 AM

Was hoping for a better outcome. He has always been a great friend. He will be sadly miss. Thoughts and prayers go out to Michelle and all the Pritchett family

-- Posted by rapsgirl89 on Fri, May 6, 2011, at 9:04 AM

My sympathy goes to the family, but I still wonder why he went out knowing the danger he could encounter.

-- Posted by Momma78 on Fri, May 6, 2011, at 9:14 AM

Prayers for the Pritchett family.

-- Posted by TLB on Fri, May 6, 2011, at 9:32 AM

David has left behind a dedicated wife and two wonderful children whose sorrow is unmatched at the moment. An account has been established for them: Pritchett Family Fund, care of First National Bank, P.O. Box 826, Greencastle, IN 46135-0826. Donations are not tax-deductible. You may donate anonymously or not. A memorial service is planned, date TBD. Thank you all for your prayers, encouragements and thoughtfulness; it has been greatly appreciated.

Charles Pritchett

-- Posted by chazm_vet on Fri, May 6, 2011, at 9:38 AM

"Those who desire to lead a danger-free life will live no life at all."

-- Posted by chazm_vet on Fri, May 6, 2011, at 9:40 AM

Prayers for the Pritchett family.

Dave was a great guy.

-- Posted by Stick1 on Fri, May 6, 2011, at 10:03 AM

I will keep you all in my prayers in the difficult days ahead. Let family and friends near and far help you through.

Andy Pritchett

Danville, IN & Sarasota, FL

-- Posted by ampritch62 on Fri, May 6, 2011, at 7:52 PM

David was a wonderful person and a great friend for many years. He lived everyday to the fullest. May God watch over his wonderful family in their time of sorrow. He will be deeply missed.

Peace be with you all,

Hope Cassady

Belton, TX.

-- Posted by HopeCass on Fri, May 6, 2011, at 8:23 PM

Hope!!! Email me at chazmvet@yahoo.com


-- Posted by chazm_vet on Fri, May 6, 2011, at 9:49 PM

Hello Charlie,

I am so sorry for your loss. Sending email now. Will be from mikecassady@msn.com


-- Posted by HopeCass on Fri, May 6, 2011, at 10:08 PM

I didn't know David, but I can only imagine what your family is going through. Many thoughts and prayers are with you in this time. And Charles, that quote was spot on. I agree fully.

-- Posted by Meadow31 on Sat, May 7, 2011, at 8:16 AM

I remember going to his house when he lived in town (about 25 years ago)and asking if he wanted to go bike (bicycle) riding...guess i should have specified around town because he about killed me riding all the way to Reelsville. That's what i want to remember...hes not gone...he just hasn't stopped by our house yet since it got warm.

He will be missed...Prayers to all the family

Debbi (Walton) Patterson

-- Posted by rapsgirl89 on Sat, May 7, 2011, at 12:09 PM

Prayers and sorrow......

Lived big & died big.......

THATS important......

-- Posted by cominatcha on Sat, May 7, 2011, at 12:26 PM

A big thank you to the Reelsville Fire Dept. and DNR. You both serve your neighbors well.

-- Posted by Trying hard on Sun, May 8, 2011, at 11:43 AM

David you will be missed as you touched so many lives. No one can say you let your life pass you by as you truley enjoyed every minute and second you were able too even down to the last seconds. I only wish I was there to pull you out of that mess,

I will truely miss my friend,

D.P 4/19/2011 Never Forgotten

Condolences to Michelle and the Boys and to all the Pritchett family.....

Jumper (DJE)

-- Posted by jumper11a on Sun, May 8, 2011, at 10:04 PM

Many prayers for your family in such a tragic loss. May God hold you all close....

-- Posted by John3:16 on Tue, May 10, 2011, at 11:33 AM

What a very sad loss. David was there for me after my friend Myra Schroeder died. He took me home and was a supportive companion during some very dark hours. I don't know how he knew about the accident or how to find me, but he was there and I will never forget what a genuine and caring person he was. Rest in peace my brother.

-- Posted by MKMD on Sat, May 14, 2011, at 6:19 PM

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