LOVELY, Ky. - The body of a missing Mingo County man was retrieved Friday afternoon from the Tug Fork River near Lovely, according to the Martin County Coroner’s Office.
The body was identified by Martin County Coroner Joe Mullins as that of Roger Urban, 43, who was last seen Aug. 23 near his home at Lenore, West Virginia, when the ATV he was riding was swept into the swollen waters of Pigeon Creek during flash flooding that occurred there.
West Virginia State Police first reported finding the body on the Kentucky side of the Tug Fork near Naugatuck, about 3 to 4 miles downstream from where Urban was last seen. Troopers reported their discovery to Martin County authorities, who responded to the scene.
The body was taken to Chafin Funeral Home at Delbarton, West Virginia, where funeral arrangements were being made.
Rescue crews, including volunteers and emergency personnel, had been searching Pigeon Creek in the Lenore area since Urban’s ATV was pulled from Pigeon Creek but the driver’s body could not be found.
The area was hit by flash flooding on the night of Aug. 22 and morning of Aug. 23 as local creeks were swollen above normal levels.
First responders believe Urban fell into the creek behind his home after an ATV he was riding slipped into the muddy stream behind his home near Cheech’s Restaurant. The accident occurred around 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 23. The Lenore Volunteer Fire Department received the call about 8 p.m. and began a search soon afterward.
Crews searched throughout the week. They were using boats and some men were wading the creek hoping to find the body and give the family some closure.
Swift water rescue crews from four counties had spent the days since Urban was last seen, searching the water and banks.
Divers used an underwater camera to aid in the search. They also attempted to clear out a 15-foot debris pile, built up at a bridge after Friday night’s terrible storm. About 2 to 4 inches of rain fell in the region, causing flooding and damaging several homes in the hollows along U.S. Highway 119 in the Myrtle area.
The Mingo County Sheriff’s Department and troopers from the West Virginia State Police also were helping in the search effort.