Handcuffed man, 20, drowns while in Water Patrol custody

Brandon Ellingson was an Iowa native who was enrolled in college at Arizona State University.

A 20-year-old man is dead after either falling or jumping overboard from a Missouri State Highway Patrol boat that was transporting him from the Lake of the Ozarks on suspicion of boating while intoxicated.

The patrol says Brandon Ellingson of Clive, IA, stood up on the moving vessel before going into the water at 5:23 p.m. Saturday.

A water patrol officer jumped in the water to try and rescue Ellingson but was unable to do so.

According to Lake Alert, Ellingson had been handcuffed and was wearing a life jacket, but the life jacket came off at some point during the incident.

A patrol dive team recovered his body about 11:30 a.m. Sunday. Ellingson and the trooper were the only two people in the state-operated boat as the trooper took Ellingson in for an intoxication test. The trooper has been placed on paid leave while the investigation continues.

The drowning happened near the Lake's Gravois Arm in Morgan County on Saturday evening.

Ellingson was currently attending Arizona State University. According to the university's online directory, he was enrolled as a business student.

The Sigma Chi Fraternity's Arizona-based chapter said on it's Facebook page Sunday that Ellingson had been a member since 2012 and asked for prayers for his family.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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