Michael James Morris drowns at campground pond 2011.07.07

Written by David Green.

A rural Morenci man drowned Sunday night at the Green Valley Campground pond west of town.

Law enforcement officials Wednesday had not yet learned of a cause of death, although head trauma was evident, according to Lenawee County Sheriff’s Department Lieutenant Jeff Ewald.

Members of a dive team located the body of 24-year-old Michael James Morris at about 1:40 a.m. Monday morning to end a search that started two hours earlier.

A witness reported watching Morris flip off a floating dock in the pond about 8:30 p.m. Sunday, but then turned his attention elsewhere to watch someone on a rope swing.

The witness recalled about 15 minutes later that he hadn’t seen Morris and mentioned it to another person.

After Morris failed to be located around the campground, the Morenci Fire Department was called to help with a search. Assistance was obtained from the fire departments in Fayette, Wauseon, Archbold and Delta, including water rescue and diving teams to focus on a pond search.

A sonar radar device was used at the pond without success and divers were unable to locate Morris after checking certain locations.

Eventually, divers from the Delta Fire Department established a search pattern for a detailed examination of the pond and Morris was located on the west side of the floating dock.

The campground pond is described as about 100 yards long by 40 yards wide, with a depth reaching 14 feet.

The county Victim Services Unit, an agency coordinated by the sheriff’s department, was dispatched to assist the Morris family.

The Sheriff’s Department reported that Morris lived on Whaley Road, Morenci.

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