Missing Swimmer’s Body Found at Barkcamp State Park in Belmont

BELMONT –The body of a 43-year-old Mississippi man was recovered from Belmont Lake at Barkcamp State Park early Tuesday evening after he apparently drowned while trying to swim across the lake with friends.

Officials with the Belmont Volunteer Fire Department said the victim was David Enterkin, a carnival employee who had been working at the Belmont County Fair. Enterkin was swimming with friends in an attempt to cool off in the 90-degree heat of the day. Witnesses said Enterkin “had some trouble” while in the water, leading them to report the emergency. His friends said he did not make it across the lake and went under the water.

Enterkin’s mother, Linda Reid of Columbus, Miss., said today that she was told her son’s friends attempted to reach him with a flotation device, but he had gone under the water and did not resurface. Reid said her son apparently swam out past the barricades on the lake when he became tired and struggled in the water.

“He grew up on the Gulf Coast. He was always in the water, at the beach … I thought he was a strong swimmer,” Reid said.

Reid said her son loved his job working for various carnivals and traveling around the country. “He was a wonderful son. He enjoyed the camaraderie of the people he worked with. He was just full of life,” Reid said.

Enterkin was the youngest of Reid’s three children. She has a daughter and another son, who is a deputy sheriff in Milton, Fla.

Reid said she has been in contact with the Belmont County Coroner’s Office. but is at a loss as to making arrangements to have her son’s body returned home.

“In the end, he only had me,” Reid said, choking back tears.

Multiple agencies spent most of the day and early evening Tuesday searching for Enterkin.

Just before 6 p.m. Tuesday, Belmont Fire Chief Bob Mills reported they had recovered the body of the missing swimmer. Belmont County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy James Zusack confirmed that they had received the call at about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday concerning a possible drowning at the lake in Barkcamp.

According to Zusack, the sheriff’s department was the first agency on scene after the incident was reported. Barkcamp is a state park, though, he said the Ohio State Highway Patrol has jurisdiction over the scene.

OSP Sgt. D. Hartline said, however, the Patrol was not the lead agency investigating the case. Instead, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Watercraft is heading up the investigation.

Also helping at the scene were members of the Belmont and Lafferty volunteer fire departments and the Belmont County Emergency Management Agency. The Wheeling Dive Team came to the lake to aid in the search. Officials from the Belmont County Coroner’s Office also responded.

ODNR representatives could not be reached for comment at press time.

(Adam Tychonski contributed to this story.)

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