Flags flew half-staff Thursday at Ohio’s state parks, where members of the Department of Natural Resources mourned 36-year-old Officer Jason Lagore.
"We're hanging in there staying strong together,” said Lt. Travis Martin, who worked with Lagore often during his career. “But it's still a loss for us. Our hearts really go out to Jason's wife and his young children."
Lagore died of an unspecified “medical emergency” while assisting in ODNR’s effort to retrieve the body of 16-year-old Keaira Scott, who died Tuesday night after falling through the ice over Rocky Fork Lake in Hillsboro, Ohio.
READ ABOUT KEAIRA: Girl saved her brother, then drowned under ice at Rocky Fork State Park
Martin and other ODNR officers remember Lagore best for his work with K-9s. He led the department’s first-ever K-9 Academy, and he responded to search-and-rescue calls all over Ohio with his K-9 partner, Sarge.
"They loved to see him,” Martin said of Lagore’s coworkers. “They loved to talk with them. He had a brilliant smile. When he looked at you, his smile just lit up his entire face. It was bright. That was his personality."
Now, Martin said, ODNR is focused on supporting Lagore’s wife, Michele, and their two children.
Anyone wishing to donate to the family can do so here.