Suspect fleeing police drowns in flood water

Monday, January 4, 2016

CAMPBELL, Mo. -- A man drowned in fl ood waters Thursday morning near the Dunklin-Butler County border while allegedly attempting to escape from law enforcement following a high speed chase.

Rickey G. Lerma, 40, of Risco, Mo., was pronounced dead at 11 a.m. by Dunklin County Coroner James

Powell, after Lerma's body was recovered from the St. Francis River near Highway DD.

Lerma had attempted to escape Campbell police officers shortly after 8:15 a.m. by driving through high water on Highway DD during a high speed chase, according to a statement released by officers. Lerma had felony warrants from Dunklin County and other surrounding counties, officers say.

When his vehicle stalled, Lerma alledgedly left the vehicle and was seen by officers swimming in the flooded river to a river bank.

It appears law enforcement lost sight of Lerma and used Campbell's K-9 officer, Titus, to track the man.

Members of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Dunklin County Sheriff's Department and Butler County Sheriff's Department helped establish a perimeter around the area.

Lerma was again located swimming in the flood waters, according to the statement.

For the full story, see today's edition of the Standard Democrat.

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