Dayton man, 19, identified as drowning victim after cliff-jump at Ludlow Falls

UPDATE @ 9:50 a.m.: 

The victim of a drowning after cliff jumping at Ludlow Falls has been identified as Jalen Michael Ward Sheeler, 19, of Dayton, according to Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak.

Sheeler’s preliminary cause of death has been ruled as an accidental drowning, Duchak said in a media release Friday morning.


A 19-year-old man died Thursday after cliff jumping and swimming at Ludlow Falls, officials said.

The man, whose name has not been released, went under while swimming after a cliff jump, and never resurfaced, a female friend with him told 9-1-1 dispatchers.

The Miami County Coroner’s office said early Friday morning they have not released the victim’s name because his relatives have not been notified of his death.

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A second male who was with the victim was taken to a hospital and released. It’s not clear at this time what he was treated for.

Multiple rescue crews, including dive teams from Troy, Piqua and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, responded to the water rescue that was reported about 2:30 p.m.

The female friend who called 9-1-1 said the man was fine after jumping from the cliff at the falls, noting that he even stood on some rocks.

“He jumped off,” she told dispatchers. “He’s been down there like five minutes.”

When he returned to the water to swim to shore, he may have been taken by what Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak said was the strong undertow.

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“There’s a very strong undertow,” he said. “Don’t swim here.”

The man was pulled from the falls and pronounced dead around 4 p.m., the sheriff’s office confirmed.

There are “no swimming” signs posted in the area. Several people were cited last summer for illegal swimming at the site. Duchak said deputies try to patrol the area as often as possible.

The sheriff’s office was working Thursday night to reach the victim’s next of kin. Once, that happens, the sheriff’s office will release the victim’s name to the public.

We will continue working on this story, and we’ll bring you the latest information as soon as it’s available.

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