Search for missing man in Kentucky River enters fourth day

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - With no additional signs of missing 26-year-old Will Rawlings, officials are now changing the game plan. Instead of searching underwater, crews will now go out multiple times a day checking on the surface of the water.

Family members say they believe Rawlings, who works as a security guard at Buffalo Trace Distillery, slipped into the river while fishing at night. Sheriff Pat Melton said it is common for Rawlings to fish at night, because of his third shift schedule. Rawlings had a particular spot he often went fishing. Officials also found his truck nearby, along with a flashlight in the water.

Tom Russell, who is the Franklin County Emergency Management Director, says more time means more chances of finding a body during the recovery stage.

"As the days go on, and the body tends to change from a drowning accident, the victim will surface eventually," Russell said. "And that's why we have kind of changed to surface activity, in case he surfaces."

Officials believe Rawlings slipped into the river while fishing in the area at night. They aren't sure if he knew how to swim.

Even before the rainy weather, officials say the area was already muddy and slippery. Recent storms have also made the river significantly swell.

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office is also pulling various records such as cell phone and credit cards- usage, as the missing person investigation continues.

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