By C.L. Harmon Publisher
It’s an unimaginable thought for a parent; one that creeps into the heart and the throat with a dry scratchy tickle of fear and dread. It’s beginning is only a slight worry and its ending a reality that the initial tickle will leave an internal scar for loved ones forever.
This nightmare began with friends out for a day of swimming and fun. The Creek County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) received a notice from the family last Sunday evening that something was not right. It soon sent out a request to media outlets informing them that it was currently trying to locate a missing person in the Silver City area and would people to notify them if they knew of his whereabouts.
The young man’s name was David Lane Howard, an 18 year old white male, 5’8″ tall and weighing 180-190 pounds He was reported as having brown hair and a skull tattoo on his leg. Howard went missing on July 31st between 10:30 and noon while swimming in the area with two friends, according to information provided by the Creek County Sheriff’s Office. He was last seen Sunday morning near the low water bridge off old Highway 51 at Buck Eye Creek.
The media release reported that Howard had become separated from his friends while on a trail near where the trio went swimming. Several days of searching thick brush with multiple area agencies becoming involved, remained fruitless until Thursday afternoon when a searcher finally discovered the body of Howard.
“I am really proud of this community,” Les Vaughn of the CCSO said during an interview. He explained how much the CCSO appreciated the many agencies stepping up to help in what all officers hoped would be a rescue and not a retrieval operation. He added that it would not have been possible to cover as much ground as needed had it not been for the volunteering officers and county workers who assisted.
Vaughn did not state if the body found was positively identified as Howard, but it believed him to be so. In addition, he explained that OSBI treats all unknown deaths as homicides until ruled otherwise through an autopsy. He went on to say that there did not appear to be foul play at the scene and he believed Howard simply got lost and succumbed to the elements and dehydration.
The body was found by a power easement near 61 Street and 481st east of Oilton. Howard graduated high school from Oilton. He was living in Cushing as the time of his disappearance.