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Police still searching for man who dove into river to save dog

Posted at 7:18 PM, Oct 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-04 20:20:36-04

PLYMOUTH, Wis — Plymouth Police are continuing to search for Kevan McClintock, 63, after they say he could have jumped into the Mullet River after his dog.

"There is no confirmation he went into the river," Deputy Chief Chris Ringel of the Plymouth Police Department said. "But the presumption is, he may have."McClintock, of the town of Greenbush, was reported missing about 1 p.m. Thursday. The animal was later found by a friend.

Search efforts were suspended Thursday night but picked up again Friday morning. It wasn't just law enforcement but also friends of the 63-year-old man.

"He's a good friend," John Saladini of Plymouth said. "He'd do a lot for people. Some people didn't give him the time of day but if you got to sit down and know him over a beer or two, he was always a good guy. He'd do a lot for people. That's why I'm out here."

Saladini says he's been friends with McClintock for the last 15 years and the two frequently go hunting together. Despite his friend being gone for over 36 hours, he maintains faith he'll be found alive.

"There's always hope," Saladini said. "You always got to hope. So we're going to keep looking."

Saladini says McClintock had a year and a half old Chesapeake Bay Retriever that rarely left his side. The dog loved the water, but is not a good swimmer. It's part of the reason police believe McClintock may have jumped in the water after it.

Friday afternoon, the Mullet River had calmed down enough for dive teams to get in and search more intently in the river. Wading through knee deep water, the crews, in a line across the river, looked through brush and debris. By 6:00 p.m., they canceled the search for the day. Deputy Chief Ringel says they'll have a meeting to discuss when they'll start the search again. But for this small town, they're all hoping for the best.

"We're a small, tight knit community," Ringel said. "Thoughts and prayers are with the family. We always pray for the best. We hope it's not going to be the worst case scenario."

McClintock was last seen by the Mullet River in downtown Plymouth at 12:30 a.m. Thursday.No one saw McClintock enter the water, and initially it was presumed he went to a local tavern, police said.Later that morning, the friend who retrieved the dog became more concerned because McClintock did not go to the tavern and his car was still in the downtown area.