BEAVER FALLS (KDKA) — A missing person search ended tragically in Beaver Falls.
Search and rescue teams searched for 9 to 10 hours for a man who reportedly went missing from a hotel.
The man’s body was found exactly where the search began.
Pennsylvania State Police said 70-year-old John Pope, of Florida, was found dead at the bottom of the pool inside the Park Inn hotel on Eastwood Drive in Beaver Falls. Police said Pope was staying at the hotel with family.
State police said John Pope’s family reported him missing around 9 a.m., with his sister being the last one to see him at the hotel pool.
“We were told the pool was checked several times before we were even notified and responded. We have done cursory checks of the pool. We used infrared cameras at the pool level. Poles were used and other tools to try to rub the bottom of the pool,” said Lt. Eric Hermick of the Pennsylvania State Police.
The search for Pope expanded all over Beaver County. Chippewa, Big Beaver and Koppel fire departments assisted.
Canine dogs were trying to track him the ground while a helicopter was searching from overhead.
“One of our investigators decided, let’s go back to the original point where this all started one more time and that’s where we did locate the subject,” Lt. Hermick said.
Police say while the search was going on outside people were swimming in the pool inside.
“The water is extremely cloudy. You cannot see beyond 3-and-a-half, 4 feet into the water,” said Lt. Hermick.
Police cleared the pool for the final search around 6 p.m.
“The deepest portion is a 9-foot section. The pool tapers down from both sides into a V shape at a certain end of the pool, and that’s where the body was discovered,” Lt. Hermick said.
Police say Pope’s sister said when he disappeared in his swim trunks she thought he wandered outside.
“She has been interviewed by us. She was concerned about his mindset and they were afraid that he may have walked away from the hotel,” Lt. Hermick said.
Family members and the hotel declined to do an interview with KDKA.
Police say the drowning appears have been either accidental or due to a medical condition – nothing suspicious. The county coroner will be make the final determination with an autopsy.