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Search and rescue operation underway on Arkansas River north of La Junta in southeastern Colorado

County officials are reminding residents that the river is running high and “much faster than it appears”
Search and rescue operation underway north of La Junta in southeastern Colorado_june 12 2024.jpg
Posted at 9:38 AM, Jun 12, 2024

UPDATE | June 19 — Around 6:40 p.m. on June 18, authorities found a body in the Arkansas River just north of the BNSF railyard. The deceased person has not yet been identified.

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OTERO COUNTY, Colo. — A search and rescue operation is underway after a 19-year-old went missing on the Arkansas River north of La Junta, the Otero County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday morning.

The Otero County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post just before 6 a.m. Wednesday that their deputies, along with La Junta Fire personnel, were conducting a search and rescue and a swift water rescue on the Arkansas River in the north La Junta area.

In a phone call with Denver7, Otero County Undersheriff Matt Wallace said deputies were searching for three people who were reported missing just after 5 a.m. when two were found and pulled from the water. Those two are expected to be OK, Wallace said. Devlin Cambeul, 19, is still missing.

During the search, the undersheriff said, rescuers also found another person in need, separate from the search and rescue. That person is now in the hospital, but their condition is unknown at this time.

Deputies asked the public to avoid the area to let emergency responders and drone operators work.

“This is also a reminder that this time of year the river is running high and much faster than it appears and is clearly dangerous,” said Otero County Sheriff Shawn Mobley. “I am putting out the message again this year that for your safety and ours, to please stay out of the damned river!”

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials along with U.S. Army Corp of Engineers boats were helping with the search efforts, Wallace said.

Search operations were suspended for the day around 8:06 p.m. The sheriff's office said efforts will continue in the morning "when additional resources arrive to assist."

Search and rescue operation underway north of La Junta in southeastern Colorado A search and rescue operation is underway after a 19-year-old went underwater north of La Junta, the Otero County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday morning.


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