Bodies recovered after police confrontation led to drowning

January 1, 2023 GMT

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The bodies of two men from Duck, West Virginia, who jumped into the Elk River after a confrontation with an officer were recovered on Saturday, according to West Virginia State Police.

The confrontation took place around 4 p.m. on Friday when Police Cpl. F.L. Raynor saw the two men walking near a bridge along state Route 4 and thought he recognized one of them as having an active warrant.

Raynor stopped them and confirmed the active warrant for 29-year-old Derek Lee Smith. The officer handcuffed Smith and tried to place him in the police vehicle, but Smith escaped and jumped from the bridge into the river, according to police.

“Cpl. Raynor attempted to rescue Mr. Smith but was unsuccessful,” according to police. The second man, 61-year-old Darrius James Nottingham Jr., also “entered the river and disappeared from sight.”

A search of the river led to the discovery of their bodies the following day.