Missing Lake Somerville swimmer found dead after 'accidental drowning': Officials

Posted at 9:07 PM, Oct 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-24 14:30:50-04

BURLESON COUNTY, Texas — UPDATE: A dead body has been recovered from Lake Somerville this morning, officials said.

Around 9 a.m. Monday, officials said they discovered the body of a person reported missing on Sunday, according to the Burleson County Sheriff's Office.

John Ross Laughlin, 64, of Brazoria County, was declared dead by Burleson County Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Robert Urbanosky, officials said.

Laughlin was said to have been discovered in a search conducted by Texas Game Wardens.

His death is being ruled an "accidental drowning" after an investigation was conducted by both the Burleson County Sheriff's Office and Texas Game Wardens.

ORIGINAL STORY: Authorities suspended the search Sunday for a person who went missing after swimming out to retrieve a jet ski, but plan on resuming it at daylight Monday.

A 911 call was made to the Burleson County Sheriff’s Office about 2:40 p.m. Sunday regarding the missing person in the vicinity of Birch Creek Park, a news release said.

Texas Parks & Wildlife game warden joined the sheriff’s office, Burleson St. Joseph EMS, AIRMED helicopter, and Somerville, Birch Creek and Rocky Creek volunteer fire departments in the search.

Officials suspended the search at “nightfall for the safety of search personnel,” the release said. “Additional resources and search crews will resume the search at daylight.”

The missing person wasn’t immediately identified, pending notification of family members.

25 News will provide additional details as they become available.