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Man drowns trying to save dog

A Floyds Knobs man who had failed to return home Monday night after ‘running rabbits’ in northeast Harrison County was found dead yesterday morning in a cistern.
Law enforcement officers believe Wendell Elmore, 65, drowned while trying to rescue one of his dogs. The dog also was found in the cistern.
Elmore went to the property southwest of Georgetown Monday afternoon with five beagles, according to Indiana Conservation Officers.
‘He was very familiar with the property and had permission to be there,’ Conservation Officer Jim Hash said.
Elmore had used his cell phone to call a friend at about 6:45 p.m. He told the friend he was ready to head back to his truck.
When Elmore, a non-insulin diabetic, didn’t return home, his family went to the property in the vicinity of Angel Run and Old Lanesville roads to look for him, Hash said. It was after dark, he added.
Family members found the truck, as well as four of the five beagles, which came to them as they called out for Elmore, Hash said.
The Harrison County Sheriff’s Department received a 911 call at 10:47 p.m. from the family.
‘With the family’s knowledge of the property and (Elmore’s) hunting buddies, we had a starting point of where to look,’ Hash said.
The search focused on an area about 50 acres in size of the 300-acre site.
‘We performed a grid search of the primary location where we thought he’d be,’ Hash said.
Efforts to use the GPS capability in Elmore’s phone failed because the phone either was turned off or inoperable, Hash said.
Personnel from several departments assisted in the search. Besides Indiana Conservation Officers, members from Ramsey, Lanes-ville and Georgetown fire departments, Harrison County Sheriff’s Department, Harrison County Emergency Management Agency and Harrison County Emergency Medical Services assisted. The Jefferson County (Ky.) Police Department used its helicopter for an aerial search.
The search was temporarily abandoned early yesterday morning then resumed at daylight.
Elmore’s body was discovered at 9:05 a.m. in a cistern on the property after a family member spotted a dog collar on the ground near the cistern’s opening. The dog’s body was also found in the cistern.
Hash said the opening was about 18 inches wide and 10 feet deep, and there was about seven feet of water in it.
‘He probably fell in trying to rescue the dog,’ he said.
Because of the size of the cistern, Elmore was unable to get his head out of the water that was in the cistern.
Harrison County Coroner Rusty Sizemore and a deputy coroner transported the body to the Kentucky Medical Examiner’s Office in Louisville, where an autopsy will be performed.