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Apparent drowning victim still not found

May 03, 1998

The search was resumed Saturday morning for the body of a 23-year-old Frederick, Md., man believed drowned Thursday in the churning waters at the base of a dam on Antietam Creek.

A crane was brought in to lift an underwater fence that officials suspect may be keeping the body of Justin Michael Fortenberry from surfacing.

But the effort was suspended after two fruitless hours, during which heavy rain caused the creek to rise above the shore line near the dam below Mount Aetna Road, said Chief Robert Myerly of Washington County Civil Defense.

"We hooked on to something. We're not exactly sure what. But the boom wouldn't reach out as far as we wanted it to," Myerly said.


He said he expects a crane with a longer boom will be brought out by midweek if the body still hasn't been recovered and the creek was down.

Fortenberry has been missing since Thursday, when he went into the water to save a dog while fishing with Brent Daubenmire, 19, of Hagerstown. Daubenmire had tried unsuccessfully to save his friend.

Rescue workers searched for nearly three hours Thursday. Scuba divers joined them on Friday.

The man's body may be caught under a section of the chain link fence, which used to run across the top of the dam, or it may have been swept downstream, Myerly said.

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