Police and fire department search and rescue teams have been searching the high, freezing water of the Big Blue River for a man who passers-by saw fall into the water on Thursday evening.
But who went into the river in Edinburgh is a mystery. So far, no one has been reported missing from Edinburgh or the surrounding areas.
Search and rescue teams are battling high water from recent rain and snowfall, and bitter temperatures. On Friday, dozens of emergency workers from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, Edinburgh Police Department, Bargersville, Franklin, Columbus and Nineveh fire departments and Shelby County Water Rescue Team took turns conducting searches using boats and drones. Dive teams from multiple counties were on standby, but were not being allowed in the freezing cold water unless it was absolutely necessary, officials said.
Two passers-by reported seeing a thin white man with blond hair, wearing a red shirt and blue jeans, fall into the water.
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While crews were searching the water and banks, other police were trying to figure out the identity of the person.
Police checked with Edinburgh Schools on Friday, and no students are missing, said Angela Goldman, a spokeswoman for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
They also watched surveillance videos from the area and talked with several home and business owners in town for leads, Goldman said Friday afternoon.
Two women driving near the Big Blue River at State Road 252 and River Road saw the man fall into the water just before 5 p.m. Thursday, they said.
The women said he surfaced once, but was not seen again, Johnson County Sheriff Duane Burgess said. Emergency responders have not seen anyone in the water.
The search was called off Thursday night due to high water, winds and quickly dropping temperatures, Burgess said. Crews spent all day Friday searching as well. The river was just starting to crest, he said.
“The weather and river conditions are just too extreme to do any kind of (rescue) work in the dark,” Goldman said.
Crews will evaluate the situation daily in deciding whether to resume the search.