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Fallen trooper whose body was found near Magnet in 1972 memorialized

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FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky State Police held a memorial ceremony Monday for one of its fallen officers with Tell City ties.

Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer presented a flag to Roy Childs of Frankfort, in memory of his father, David Thomas Childs, a Kentucky State Police water patrol officer who perished along with Trooper James McNeely April 8, 1972.

The officers were searching for two Louisville teens reported missing on a canoe trip when a swift current in the rain-swollen Kentucky River swept their boat over the Lock 4 dam in Frankfort. The missing youths were found later unhurt.

Child was 39 years old at the time of his death. His body was recovered April 25 from the Ohio River near Magnet.

McNeely was 37 years old. His body was never found.

On April 11, 1972, the Lexington Herald wrote the following about the tragic incident: “It takes the death of policemen; such as the drowning of State Trooper James McNeely and Boating Officer David Childs, to remind the public of its collective debt to the men of the safety forces who each day risk their lives in an often thankless profession.”

“Today, we stand on the shoulders of all those who have gone before us and, like David Childs and James McNeely, made the ultimate sacrifice of service over self,” said Brewer. “We salute them and all those who chose a life that makes a difference.”