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Search captain: Crews locate body of missing Bracken County man in Ohio River

One final push to locate missing man's body
One final push to locate missing man's body
Posted at 7:59 AM, Jul 29, 2017

AUGUSTA, Ky. -- Search crews recovered the body of a man believed to have been swept away in flooding last weekend, according to search team captain Ron Nadicksbernd. 

Crews found the body of 82-year-old Delmar Nickoson in the Ohio River at about 1:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon, Nadicksbernd said. 

Nickoson lived in Augusta all of his life and was part of a large family in the area, Bracken County Emergency Management Director Fred Reynolds told WCPO.

Nickoson's home near Bracken Creek apparently was swept away in floodwaters when torrential rain inundated Bracken and Mason counties. Flooding carried away vehicles, and left other homes and businesses badly damaged and destroyed.

PHOTOS: Devastating floods in Northern Ky.

Crews spent last Sunday and Monday hoping to rescue Nickoson; but by Monday night, they acknowledged he was most likely dead.

The search was scaled back the past few days to let the area dry out. Crews expected to stay out all day Saturday in hopes of finding Nickoson's body, focusing mostly on thick debris. The search took place along 5 miles of Bracken Creek, near Kentucky Route 435.

Cadaver dogs began searching at about 6 a.m. Saturday, and the ground search began at 10 a.m. The staggered start was so ground crews wouldn't throw off the scent for the dogs.

"This will probably be the last day for a big active search," Nadicksbernd said. "We'll be coming in every so often, possibly running dogs or even just walking. If family thinks they see something or finds something, we'll come in and help with that. That's how we'll continue from now."

Debris is so thick in places that crews had to use heavy equipment to get through it. A dog fell through some debris but wasn't injured.

Nadicksbernd had said earlier it's possible, though highly unlikely, floodwaters carried Nickoson's body to the Ohio River: Bracken Creek is winding, and the debris probably would have caught him.

Obie Nickoson, Delmar's nephew, said his uncle had been a mechanic who was well-loved in his surrounding community. He had also been vigilant -- Obie Nickoson said Delmar had watched the creek near his trailer carefully for 20 years to avoid being taken by surprise in bad weather.

Reynolds said Sunday's storm was "probably the worst we've had" in Bracken County since the late '90s.