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Iowan Drowns in Custody
DES MOINES, Iowa (KCCI-TV) --The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating the drowning of a 20-year-old Iowa man who was handcuffed and being transported on suspicion of boating while intoxicated at the Lake of the Ozarks
Brandon Ellingson, 20, of Clive, was being transported when he stood up in the moving boat and "fell or jumped overboard."
It happened about 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
Authorities said Ellingson was handcuffed and wearing a life jacket when he went off the boat, but his life jacket fell off when he hit the water.
Highway Patrol Sgt. Paul Reinsch said Monday officials are investigating whether Ellingson fell or jumped and why his life vest came off.
A dive team recovered his body shortly before noon Sunday.
"Obviously a very serious situation, we're looking into how the victim got out of his seat, went over to the side of the boat and then either jumped or fell off the boat," said Reinsch. "After the subject fell into the lake, the trooper first tried to retrieve him, and then actually go into the water to rescue him, and wasn't able to do so."
Ellingson had been attending Arizona State University.
A friend of the family said Ellingson was a standout football player at West Des Moines Valley High School, having graduated in 2012.
"He was just a kid that could get along with everybody," said Brad Rose, Valley High School athletic director. "He showed up every day, ready to work. Didn't want any special favors. He carried his own weight and he was a good student -- excellent student as well."
"It still hasn't really set in. It's almost surreal for me as well. We just saw him last week. All the graduates stop in to see Coach Swenson and we see them around the weight room and they tell us how they're doing. I know he had a big summer planned, to do some studying abroad," said Rose.
The case remains under investigation.