Clarksville police heroics help save missing man’s life

Published: Oct. 4, 2019 at 7:27 PM EDT
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CLARKSVILLE, Ind. (WAVE) - A missing man in Clarksville is now recovering in the hospital after being found dehydrated and confused, but alive.

Clarksville police had renewed its search for a Jeffersonville man reported missing this week near Mill Creek, finding him in the water just as they were about to call off the search for another day. The actions of three officers saved a life.

“It was definitely a big sense of relief,” Clarksville Police Officer Erik Laasanen said.

It’s been just a few days since Clarksville Police Officers Erik Laasanen, Jason Reed and John Miller went to Mill Creek in Clarksville, where they came to look for Ronald Taylor.

Gus Corolis called police for help.

“(Taylor) left his car there with everything in it, door was open, cell phone sitting there,” said Gus Corolis. “I knew he wouldn’t be gone long, and he was, that’s when I realized something’s wrong.”

Corolis saw his hat in an odd place and began searching for his friend.

“I looked around for quite a while down there; he must have wandered this way,” Corolis said.

At first, officers couldn’t find him. Then, on the second day of searching, in the last place they were planning to look, they spotted him in the water.

“Literally, it was the last turning point before we canceled the search and we located him,” Miller said.

Officers found Taylor conscious, dehydrated and confused. Police said he thought he’d been in the water for a few minutes, not two days.

“And just based on his hands at that point, you could see the skin peeling off of it,” Laasanen said. “So we knew he needed aid immediately.”

Back at Mill Creek on Friday, Miller and Laasanen ran into Corolis.

“Gus! How are you?” Miller asked

“I’m so glad this turned out OK,” Corolis said.

Much longer in the water and heat, and officers said Taylor likely wouldn’t have made it.

“Just coming to let you know, obviously we found him and he was safe, he was down in the water,” Miller said. “So with your help and information you gave us, with the hat being over on the other side of that hill, actually helped us find him.”

“Good deal,” Corolis said. “He had us all scared to death.”

Now, he said he was grateful for the officers that kept on searching until his friend was found.

“We were just thankful that we did go back out there because if we didn’t, I’m very confident in saying he probably wouldn’t have made it through the day,” Miller said. “It was another hot and humid day.”

Police said Taylor was taken to Clark Memorial Hospital, where he’s now recovering.

The three officers will be honored with Life Saving Awards by the town of Clarksville on Oct. 15. When asked if they felt they’d gone above and beyond the call of duty in rescuing this man, the officers agreed they were just doing their jobs.

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