Rural Dewitt man drowned while working in irrigation pond

Published: Aug. 25, 2016 at 11:30 PM CDT
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Lincoln Fire and Rescue's dive team responded on a mutual aid call on a report of a missing person in an irrigation pond near Clatonia.

LFR said it got the call to respond around 9:00 Wednesday night to SW 72nd and West Cedar Road.

The reporting party indicated that 68 year old Wayne Brinkmeyer of rural DeWitt, had not arrived for a scheduled dinner with friends, and that they were unable to contact him by phone.

A family member was aware that earlier in the afternoon Brinkmeyer had been working on a pump at an irrigation pond located in the vicinity of 9035 SW 72nd Road. When the family member went to the pond, they found Brinkmeyer’s vehicle parked nearby, and observed a small boat used to work on the pump in the water, but were unable to locate him.

At approximately 10:18 p.m. Brinkmeyer’s body was found in the pond by rescue personnel. A cause of death has, as of yet, not been determined. An autopsy has been scheduled.

Our media partner, News Channel Nebraska (KWBE radio), said Brinkmeyer is a farmer and influential in county government. Brinkmeyer was a long-time former Chairman of the Gage County Planning and Zoning Commission. His wife, Marilee, served as a member of the Beatrice Board of Education for several years. Wayne Brinkmeyer gave serious consideration to running for the Nebraska Legislature.

Gage County Attorney Roger Harrris said investigators will try to determine whether there may have been a medical problem, though he says it does not appear that was a factor, in the early part of the investigation.