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Fallen officer honored 42 years after death

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - A Frankfort Water Patrol Officer that died in the line of duty, was recognized 42 years after his death.

Officer David Childs and Trooper James McNeely drowned in the Kentucky River on April 8, 1972. The men were searching the river for two lost teenagers.

After the accident, McNeely was memorialized by Kentucky State Police. Childs was not. Childs' department, Water Patrol, changed from a division underneath the State Police banner to the Transportation Cabinet, seven months after his death. Any plans for a memorial were overlooked.

The oversight was noticed decades later. An American flag was presented to Officer Childs' son, and his name will be added to KSP's memorial wall.

"He was on my mind all day yesterday. This ceremony was on my mind yesterday. For me, yesterday wasn't Father's Day. Today is," Roy Childs told WKYT.

Officer Childs' name was also added to the National Law Enforcement Officers memorial in Washington D.C. this year.

The teenagers McNeely and Childs were searching for were found unharmed.

Childs was 39-years-old. His body was recovered from the Ohio River near Tell City, Indiana.

McNeely was 37-years-old. His body was never found.


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