Search for Corning man continues for third day

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express

The search continues today for the body of a Corning man who apparently drowned Saturday evening after falling from a boat into Keuka Lake.

Divers using sonar were not able to find the body of Richard O’Dell, 45, of Morrcrest Drive, Corning.

Steuben County Undersheriff Ray Dell said searchers thought they had two leads Monday, but the objects that showed up on sonar were submerged trees.

O’Dell has been missing since Saturday evening when he fell out of the back of a boat leaving the Switzerland Inn restaurant shortly after 6 p.m.

Dell said the driver of the boat, who has not been identified, circled around while a passenger in the boat dove in the water to help O’Dell.

Dell said O’Dell sunk below the surface of the water and the occupants of the boat were unable to locate him.

He said there’s no indication from witnesses O’Dell hit his head or was otherwise injured when he entered the water.

Dell would not say whether alcohol or drugs were involved, saying the investigation was ongoing.

Dell said, as of press time Monday, the search was concentrated on a three-quarter of a mile area on the east branch of Keuka Lake between eight and nine miles north of Hammondsport.

Divers investigated two areas at depths of 50 and 103 feet, but found only the trees.

The search was cut short Sunday when, at about 6 p.m., a severe thunderstorm moved through the search area. Officials continued the search at 7 a.m. Monday and ended at 7 p.m.

Dell said O’Dell’s family have been keeping vigil near the search area since Saturday evening.

They refused to speak to the media Monday.

Dell said O’Dell was the father of two children. An employee of J.F. and J.P Wenzel Contractors confirmed he was employed by the company.