Saturday, March 22, 1997
Body found in Louisville
Man likely drowned during flood

The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE - A man found dead in a drainage ditch probably drowned and may be a victim of the recent flooding, a deputy coroner said Friday.

Ray Wilkerson, 41, had been reported missing by his family March 5, four days after the flooding began with record rains in Louisville.

Deputy Coroner Janice Bullard said foul play was ruled out in the death, and preliminary autopsy results indicate a possible drowning.

Authorities said Mr. Wilkerson, who was taking some kind of medication, may have gotten too close to floodwaters and been swept away.

His body was found Thursday by a high school student walking near the ditch.

When Mr. Wilkerson didn't show up March 4, his birthday, family members reported him missing.

If Mr. Wilkerson is determined to have drowned because of flooding, his would be the 22nd death related to the floodwaters.

Meanwhile, 24 Kentucky counties were added Friday to the flood disaster declaration, bringing the total eligible for federal and state assistance to 87 counties.