Searchers find body of teen drowning victim

Saturday, May 11, 2002

TROY, Mo. -- The search for a northeast Missouri teen-ager missing for four days after jumping into a rain-swollen river ended Friday with the discovery of his body on a sandbar.

Searchers found the body of 19-year-old Tim Licktieg of Hawk Point along the Cuivre River about 10 miles west of this Lincoln County community.

Licktieg had been missing since apparently jumping into the river Monday night on a dare with two other men, who managed to climb out of the river unharmed. Searchers found Licktieg's body after the river's waters receded, said Schatzie Moore, a spokeswoman for the rescue effort by the Hawk Point Fire and Rescue Squad.

A trust fund has been set up in Licktieg's name at the People's Bank and Trust in Hawk Point.

Heavy rains and flooding this week have been blamed for at least two other deaths, with at least two others missing and feared drowned in Missouri.

In Joplin, John E. Nelson, 47, of Webb City, died Tuesday night in a flash flood. He was returning home from bowling when authorities believe he drove his pickup truck off a small bridge over Joplin Creek. His body was found Wednesday evening in an adjoining creek.

Funeral services were scheduled for Monday for 17-year-old Cristen "Crissy" Bell, the Mountain Grove High School senior who died late Tuesday when her call stalled on a flooded gravel road as she returned home from her Dairy Queen job.

In southwest Missouri, firefighters were forced to call off separate searches for two missing men about 3:30 p.m. when storms moved back into the area.

Justin Houk, 18, of Neosho, who was swept away by Shoal Creek on Wednesday night at a public access area near his hometown in Newton County. Friends told authorities that Houk, who had a cast on his left leg, wanted to get his feet wet from a boat ramp.

In Joplin, 62-year-old Paul Stubblefield was missing and feared drowned after his car was swept away by flood water when he attempted to drive across a bridge.

Stubblefield, who was working as a pizza delivery driver, climbed atop of his submerged car about 7 p.m. Thursday and tried to swim to shore, but did not make it, Joplin District fire chief Jim Austin said.

The area had already received five inches of rain between Wednesday afternoon and Friday morning, Austin said.

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