Search for body part ends with pursuit into the Ohio
Indiana Conservation Officers, the Harrison County Coroner and a deputy coroner began Monday evening by recovering a human bone along the Ohio River and ended the night by helping police catch a man who had fled from them.
Conservation Officer Mac Spainhour said they received information early Monday evening that a fisherman had found what is believed to be a human bone attached to the remains of a work boot.
‘A 22-year-old man from Clark County was fishing in the Ohio River with his dad on Sunday when he got out of the boat about a mile and a half to two miles north of where S.R. 211 ends at the river, and spotted what is part of a leg bone,’ Spainhour said.
The fisherman initially didn’t know who to call about his discovery, so he waited until he got off work Monday before he notified the Floyd County Sheriff’s Dept., according to Spainhour.
Conservation Officer Gary Pennington, who is assigned to Floyd County, responded and had Harrison County Coroner Steve Hamm notified. Hamm and deputy coroner Ray Saylor met Pennington, Spainhour and three other conservation officers, Lt. Felix Hensley, Jim Schreck and Jim Hash, at Caesars Indiana. The recovery party drove to a boat ramp and launched a boat in the river.
When they found the spot along the shoreline where the bone was found, they gathered the remains, returned to shore and took the boat out of the water. As they were getting ready to leave, they heard of a police pursuit on their portable radios.
‘They were heading right towards us,’ Spainhour said.
The man who was fleeing from police, William Hodge, 32, drove his vehicle down a dead-end road where he was met by the conservation officers, Hamm and Saylor.
Spainhour said the man drove his vehicle off the boat ramp and into the river. Then he got out of his vehicle.
‘He swam out into the river like he was going to go across it,’ he said. ‘He got probably 40 yards out before he turned and started swimming downstream.’
The conservation officers put their boat back in the river and used it to ‘corral’ Hodge, Spainhour said.
Spainhour and Schreck jumped into the water and took Hodge into custody. The water was a little over waist-deep, Spainhour said.
Hodge was wanted on a warrant in Louisville. He was taken to the Floyd County Jail, where he will face additional charges in Indiana, Spainhour said.
And about that bone … Spainhour said it was taken to an anthropologist, Emily Craig, for testing.
‘We should know something about it in a couple of weeks,’ he said.