Couple disputes inquest into man’s drowning death

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – A Missouri couple who say they saw an Iowa man shortly before he drowned while in the custody of the Missouri State Highway Patrol is criticizing an inquest finding that the man’s death was accidental.

Larry and Paulette Moreau, of Hartsburg, say they went past the patrol boat and 20-year-old Brandon Ellingson before he drowned May 31 in the Lake of the Ozarks. Ellingson was being transported by a highway patrol officer and somehow fell into the lake with handcuffs on.

An inquest last week ruled that Ellingson’s death was accidental and Trooper Anthony Piercy was not at fault.

The Moreaus told The Kansas City Star that when they saw Ellingson in the water, Piercy was not acting with any urgency and did not ask them for help.