Search for missing fisherman ends in Atoka County - - No One Gets You Closer

Search for missing fisherman ends in Atoka County

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ATOKA COUNTY, Okla. -- On Wednesday morning, rescue teams found the body of a 60-year-old man who fell into Clear Boggy Creek on Monday evening.

Friends of Terry Barris said he was on a fishing trip with his son when things quickly went terribly wrong.

"He wanted to wash off or something... anyway, he stepped in it, and his son was standing there and she said he just went off the water," Velta Loftis said.

Atoka County Emergency Management said Barris' son was several yards upstream and heard his father yell for help. 

Family friends said the son frantically tried to save his father from the swift current along the creek about six miles east of Wapanucka.

"His son Wes couldn't get to him, and so he's very upset, I'm sure, that he couldn't help his dad," Liftis said.

Atoka County Emergency Manager Derrick Mixon said the creek has flooded in the past week, making the current more swift.

"The water at the start of last week was over this area over here," Mixon said. "The banks are muddy, I'm sure he may have had a fish on it and tried to go get it... we just don't know."

Swift water rescue teams from Coal and Johnston counties, along with several other volunteers, searched the land and water all day Tuesday for the missing fisherman. By afternoon, officials conceded they had shifted from rescue to recovery mode.

Barris' body was found around 8 a.m. Wednesday in Clear Boggy Creek east of Atoka.

"We couldn't do our job without help from our neighboring counties," Mixon said.

Friends said the entire area is shaken by the incident, and hope the Barris family heals from the sudden loss.

"It's very sad," Loftis said. "Everybody is just getting together and taking food and offering their condolences."