Family taking it day by day after victims found in Patoka Lake - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Family taking it day by day after victims found in Patoka Lake

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Ryan Dowdell Ryan Dowdell

A Pike County family is grieving for 22-year-old Ryan Dowdell, one of two men who drowned in Patoka Lake over the weekend.

Dowdell was the second man the DNR found underwater on Sunday afternoon. Officials also found the body of Evansville man, Matt Buroker.

"It's been really tough, a really tough weekend for everybody. We're just taking it day by day. That's all we can do right now," Scott Dowdell said. Scott is Ryan's uncle.

Authorities say the pair was in a boat with two other men participating in bow fishing, and on Monday, DNR officials are still not sure why the boat sank.

It's obviously a very difficult time for the Dowdell family, but they say they are very grateful to the DNR for recovering their son.

Scott says when he first heard Ryan was missing, he and the family didn't want to believe it.

"It's hard to think about that. Just like any other tragedy that happens, you're first thought is 'it can't be,'" Scott said.

Ryan Dowdell attended Pike County High School where he played football and basketball. His uncle says he loved to fish and hunt, and that he aspired to be a conservation officer.

"Ryan loved the outdoors. He was doing what he loved," Scott said.

When 14 News asked Scott what he will miss about Ryan, he said, "I'm going to miss the times that we had out in the woods. Here in a few weeks, turkey season is coming in, and we were making plans to go turkey hunting."

Scott says he and the family are very saddened, but they'll always have great memories of an outgoing and caring young man. They say they can't thank the DNR enough for their search and rescue efforts.

"Hearts go out to the other families. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. I'd like to thank all the conservation officers, anybody in the search and rescue team. They got a tireless job, what they have to do for out here and stuff. Can't thank them enough," Scott said.

Funeral arrangements for Ryan have been made. Scott says a wake will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday and the funeral will be at noon on Thursday, all of which will take place at Harris Funeral Home in Petersburg.

The two survivors from Saturday's incident, Laben and Jacob King, were interviewed on Monday by a DNR detective as to what caused the boat to sink.

As soon as we learn that information, we will let you know.

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Family of one of the victims found dead in Patoka Lake grieves over loss

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