Two Joplin men drown in Cherokee County strip pit


CHEROKEE COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said two Joplin men are suspected to have drowned in a strip pit near Columbus.

Cherokee County authorities began searching area strip pits Tuesday night after their families reported the men didn’t return home following a day of fishing.

Around 1 a.m. early Wednesday, a Cherokee County deputy sheriff located the vehicle they had been in near Columbus.

The bodies of 70-year-old Robert Sleep and 71-year-old Stephen LeMasters were both recovered from the water.

The initial investigation indicates both men fell through ice and drowned.

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