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Updated: 10:49 a.m. Wednesday, May 14, 2014 | Posted: 2:51 p.m. Friday, May 9, 2014

2nd missing canoeist's body found in the Ohio River

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Missing Troy men photo
Courtesy: WCPO-TV

Cameron Buerger, 20, and Marty Stanaford, 19, from Troy, went missing while canoeing in the Ohio River the first weekend in May. Stanaford's body was found Friday afternoon, May 9, 2014.

The search continues after two local men went missing. photo
The search continues after two local men went missing.
ODNR Investigator Troy Thompson photo
ODNR Investigator Troy Thompson

By Breaking News Staff and Nancy Bowman

Contributing Writer


The body of Cameron Buerger, the second of the two missing men from Troy who were canoeing on the Ohio River, was found Tuesday afternoon.

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Buerger's body was found at about 2:30 p.m. by an ODNR water rescue officer, between Straight Creek and White Oak Creek on the Kentucky side of the river.

The Bracken County Coroner's Office has recovered the body.

Buerger, 20, and Marty Stanaford, 19, had been missing since May 3.

A volunteer found Stanaford's body on Friday night. A fisherman found the 12-foot canoe on Saturday nearly 60 miles from the launch point.

Matt Eiselstein, ODNR spokesman, said Buerger's body was found three to four miles downstream from the launch site, which was in Brown County, Ky. Stanaford's body was found eight to nine miles downstream.

The bodies were found 40 to 50 miles upriver from Cincinnati, Eiselstein said.

We will continue to update this story as we get more details.

UPDATE @ 3:00 p.m., May 12, 2014

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is out again today on the Ohio River, with many volunteers, searching for the missing Troy man who's presumed to have drowned.

ODNR Investigator Troy Thompson said Monday, "We're still at full go now with two boats out. At this point, it's been over a week, and we're still going at it."

Thompson said the family has hired a helicopter.

The canoe was found 60 miles from the men's last location.

"As soon as the accident happened, the boat just kept going," Thompson said after he was asked to speculate on what might have happened. "No matter what the accident was, when it happened the boat just kept going, OK? They didn't." Thompson said he can't speculate at this point what caused the accident.


The canoe carrying two Troy men who went missing on the Ohio River was found Saturday by a fisherman.

The search continued Saturday for Cameron Buerger, 20, who was missing since May 3. A volunteer on Friday night found the body of Marty Stanaford, 19.

Lance Hodkins of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources said the 15-foot green canoe was recovered after it was found by a fisherman near North Bend, Ohio. The ODNR had two search boats in the water Saturday, but the boats had to be pulled out of the water at various times due to inclement weather, Hodkins said. There also were volunteers searching, though Hodkins said he didn't know how many were on the river.

Stanaford and Buerger were spending the weekend at the Buerger family cabin near Ripley in Brown County, Ohio, when they left to cross the river to Kentucky. When they failed to return, a woman who stayed at the cabin while they canoed contacted authorities with the Brown County Sheriff's Office on Saturday night.

Search crews from several agencies along with volunteer family and friends have been searching the river area — at one point a 100-mile stretch — since May 4.

A volunteer on a Jet Ski near Augusta, Ky., found Stanaford about eight miles from where the two were last seen. The Brown County coroner was sent to the area where the body was found.

"Certainly finding one of the two helps us. We have new, more defined parameters within to search," Corson said.

Searchers have come from the Ohio and Kentucky sides of the river and have included volunteers from Buffalo Trace Search and Rescue and Ohio Task Force 1, along with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, Pendleton County Search and Rescue, an Ohio Highway Patrol helicopter and the Coast Guard in addition to searchers from ODNR, which is handling the investigation.

Before Friday, searchers had found only a cooler the men had with them. It was found near the Meldahl Dam some 15 miles from the cabin. Crews are using boats equipped with sonar, Corson said.

The river was high at the time the men were canoeing and they were not wearing life jackets, she said.

WCPO-TV in Cincinnati reported that authorities believe Herb Layford, who saw the two in the middle of the river while doing yard work on May 3, was the last person to see them before they disappeared.

"The waves were about two-and-a-half feet high and the wind was up so they were kind of ... having a tough time." Layford told WCPO this week. "I do not know what happened to them after that. It's just terrible."

Stanaford graduated from Troy High School in 2013; Buerger in 2012.

Stanaford's aunt said this week that the men were good friends. "They are both good boys," Sherry Peterson of New Lebanon said while assisting with the search. Larry Earley of Virginia, a friend of the Buerger family, said Cameron Buerger had been to the family cottage and on the river many times. Earley described Buerger as "a nice kid all around."

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