Kayaker Finds Severed Leg Floating in Lake

Human remains were found in a plastic container in an Ohio lake on Monday morning, just hours after a kayaker reported seeing a leg sticking out of a bag floating in the water.

Officers from several local law enforcement agencies responded to Alum Creek Lake State Park, roughly a 30-minute drive from Columbus, Ohio, at around 8:30 a.m. on Monday after being alerted to the container by kayaker Pete Ruopp, 75, of nearby Lewis Center.

Ruopp discovered the remains when he stopped kayaking to pick up the plastic container, seeing that it “appeared to have a human leg exposed,” according to Delaware County Sheriff Russell Martin who spoke to Nexstar Media Wire.

He immediately called the authorities, telling a 911 dispatcher “I come here every week and I pick up garbage, but this is a little weird,” and adding: “This really freaked me out, I’ll tell you,” according to The Columbus Dispatch.

The container was described as having a handle and wheels and being similar to ones that are used to store seasonal items in a basement or attic when not in use.

The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, the state Bureau of Criminal Investigations, and the Department of Natural Resources were involved in the search for the container on Monday morning, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office.

Hours after the bag was reported to the authorities, the law enforcement officers recovered it and discovered it contained the remains of a human body.

The authorities identified the body as belonging to a white male and sent the remains to the Montgomery County coroner’s office for further testing and identification.

When asked by reporters how long the authorities believed the body had been in the lake, Martin said that “it’s just too early to determine how long that tote has been in the water and I wouldn’t even want to speculate on that, too.

“It’ll take a while to put those puzzle pieces together, but hopefully as the coroner [and] the investigators take a closer look at it, we’ll be able to answer some of those obvious questions.”

Ruopp told the Dispatch that he has been kayaking in the area looking for litter every week for the last three years and that he was initially not aware of what was in the container.

“I pushed it with my paddle to see if it would turn over and I saw this white thing come out. At first, I thought it was a dead fish,” Ruopp said, as he claimed that the box looked as if it had been wheeled out to the lake.

The sheriff’s office has asked for anyone in the area that knows of a missing person fitting the description to get in contact with them.

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