Otterbein University Student Remembered After Body Found In Lake


UPDATED: Sunday March 16, 2014 11:57 PM

It took dive teams more than 24 hours to locate the body of 21-year old Kyle Miller at the bottom of a Franklin County lake.

"He's pretty much in the middle of the lake in about 71 foot of water it's about 32 degree water temperature," said Lieutenant Ed Schillig of the Franklin County Sheriff's Dive Team.

The cold water and frigid winds were just some of the obstacles in the recovery effort.

"We're very limited on how long we can go keep them down there. We normally do 20 minutes dives down there. We're talking 15 minutes because of the cold and the depth," said Lt. Schillig.

Miller came to the lake with his dog and his college friend Austin Gifford.

Detectives said when Miller's dog jumped into the water, Miller dove in, even though he didn't know how to swim.

Investigators said Gifford tried to rescue Miller before he was pulled from the water.

Deputies said Miller tried to hold on to his kayak as long as he could before he succumbed to the cold water.

"I'm sure that his athletic background and competitiveness helped him do that a lot longer for maybe longer than some might have been able to," said Otterbein Track Coach Dan Lehman.

Lehman said he will remember Miller as a great athlete who decided to forgo running the hurdles this year so he could concentrate on his academics.

He was a very nice young man, very polite, an excellent athlete," Lehman said.

As for the drowning, detectives said alcohol was not a factor, but believe Miller may have survived if he had been wearing a life jacket.

"Would it have averted it totally, that's impossible to say, but it's always helpful to have," said Lieutenant Schillig.

The dog did not survive.

Miller was a Junior at Otterbein University where he was majoring in zoo and conservation science.

The school is in the process of planning a memorial in his honor when students return from Spring break.

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