Woman identified after drowning at Cataract Falls

A woman drowned at Cataract Falls Monday, May 30, 2016. (Provided Photo/DNR District 5)

OWEN COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) —  Back to back tragedies on Memorial Day for two different families after divers recovered the bodies of two people from the water in central Indiana.

The most recent incident happened at Cataract Falls in Owen County on Monday.

Officers first received a call about the incident just after 2:30 p.m. Monday afternoon.  A body was then recovered at approximately 3:45 p.m.

Indiana Conservation Officers identified the victim as Autumn McCreery, 32, of Edgewood. Investigators said she was enjoying the day with friends.

They had been drinking when she decided to go swimming. A friend went looking for her when they couldn’t find her, but it was too late.

“Well we usually frequently come up to this park go fishing and swimming and having a good time,” said Terry Hamilton, visiting Cataract Falls from Terre Haute.

Many people enjoyed the beautiful weather Monday by stopping at Cataract Falls only to be turned away. The place was closed for parts of the evening as conservation officers investigated after a woman disappeared in the water.

“I was kind of shocked because it says no swimming,” said Hamilton.

Hamilton has been to Cataract Falls many times before.

He said this tragedy reminds him of his close call with the water.

“About 20 years ago I had a close call me and my dad were out here and I slipped in there, but I managed to get myself back up again and I knew then never to go out there again so I never went out there after that.”

Others like Dristan Langley admit he has gone swimming here before despite the warning signs.

“No I don’t wear a life jacket because I never thought it was that bad,” said Langley. “But obviously it’s pretty dangerous.”

This was the second such tragedy. A similar investigation also happened more than 80 miles away at White Rock Park in Shelby County.

Investigators said scuba diver recovered the body of a man from the bottom of a limestone quarry.

“After hearing what I heard today,” said Cole Langley, visiting Cataract Falls for the first time, “I’d probably wear a life jacket if I were to get into that water.”

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is reminding people this summer about water safety. The agency is encouraging people to double-check the signs, wear a life jacket, and to not mix alcohol with activities.

“If you are not a swimmer wear a life jacket or have one right next to you is the best thing you can do or swim in groups not by yourself,” said Travis Stewart, Department of Natural Resources.

An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday for McCreery.

Investigators believe alcohol may have been involved. They won’t know for sure until they get the toxicology results, which could take several weeks.

In Shelby County, a man’s body was found Monday in water at White Rock Park.

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