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A teenager who was last seen planning a night of fun at the Shelby County Fair was found facedown in a creek Monday morning by a railroad employee.
Family members of Jackleen Lane, 15, of Bagdad told WAVE-Ch. 3 that when the teen told her brother, Josh Lane, of her plans to attend the fair on Saturday night that was the last conversation anyone had with her.
It took police 24 hours to identify Lane’s body after she was spotted floating in Clear Creek at about 9 a.m. by a Norfolk Southern Railroad conductor who reported what he thought appeared to be a body as his train was passing over the railroad bridge at 1st and Goodman streets in Shelbyville.
Shelby County Deputy Coroner Jeff Ivers said that preliminary autopsy results show the cause of death as drowning and that, so far, investigators think the death was accidental.
Ivers said he has no idea yet how Lane wound up in the creek.
“They are still doing investigations and conducting interviews,” he said
Josh Lane told reporters that when Lane did not get back in touch with him that he figured she was having too much fun at the fair and just forgot to call him.
Then when detectives contacted him, he knew the body that he had heard about that was found in the creek was his sister, he said.
Shelbyville police had earlier asked for the public’s help in identifying the victim, describing the victim and her clothing to the media, as she had no identification on her.
Shelbyville Police Chief Danny Goodwin said that Shelbyville Police and sheriff’s deputies responded to the 911 call that came in at 9:05 a.m., along with Shelbyville Fire and Rescue, who brought a zodiac boat to retrieve the body from the water.
Shelbyville Assistant Fire Chief Chris Spaulding said his rescue crew of 13 did not remove the body from the water immediately, however; it was close to 11 a.m. before they did so.
“We put the boat in down at the Stratton Ball Park [on Washington Street], but we had to wait until the police concluded their investigation before we came in,” Spaulding said.
Crews were on the scene of the Norfolk Southern Railroad yard for about two hours, during which time the tracks were shut down while detectives gathered clues and members of the press waited outside the yellow police tape barricade for some word of what was occurring.
When Goodwin finally came over to talk to reporters, he said that although the cause of death was not apparent, coroners on the scene had ruled out the possibility that woman had been hit by train. He added that no one had been reported missing that he was aware of, either.
Goodwin said the body was in a state of decomposition.
“It may have been here for a few days,” he said. “There will have to be a lengthy autopsy.”
Once retrieved, the body was taken by the Shelby County Coroner’s office to the state medical examiner’s officer in Louisville.
Shelbyville Police Officer Kelley Cable said foul play has not been ruled out.
“We didn’t see any signs of any [foul play], but all we can say right now is there is still an open investigation,” he said.