Authorities recover body in North Canadian River, suspected of being missing Watonga man.2/27/2021
Blaine County Sheriff’s Office, February 27, 2021
WATONGA, OKLAHOMA — Stephen Clyde Courtney, 62 of Watonga, was reported missing February 13th by his family. On February 14th, the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) received a call about an abandoned vehicle north of Watonga off of CR 780 near the bridge over the North Canadian River.
Deputies arrived and confirmed that this was the vehicle Mr. Courtney was reported to be last seen driving. That evening BCSO Sheriff Travis Daugherty called out all deputies, and requested assistance from the Watonga Police Department to conduct a grid search of the area around Mr. Courtney’s vehicle. After approximately 6 hours the search was called off due to the -20 deg temperatures and close to 12 inches of snow covering the ground.
Over the next 10 days, there were multiple other searches conducted by all agencies involved. Sheriff Daugherty contacted the Oklahoma Army Corps of Engineers to request the Canton Dam water release be temporarily shut off. Doing this would allow for the water in the river to begin receding and allow for easier search of the area. The request was granted by the Corps of Engineers.
On the morning of February 27, 2021, BCSO received a call from Rapid Response Service, Search and Rescue, of a possible discovery of Mr. Courtney’s body near the area of the original search. The ice had cleared off the river allowing for a better search of the area and access for boats and search equipment.
Authorities arrived and recovered the body from the river bottom. The body was believed to be that of Mr. Courtney’s, said authorities. (Pending confirmation by dental records). Upon release by Oklahoma Highway Patrol Marine Division and the Oklahoma Medical Examiner (OME), the body was transported to the (OME) for further examination.
We would like to thank all law enforcement agencies, and individuals that assisted with this search. We request that you keep the family of Stephen Courtney in your thoughts and prayers through this tough time and pray for their healing.
2/27/2021 - Authorities recover body in North Canadian River, suspected of being missing Watonga man.
2/03/2021 - Blaine County Sheriff’s Office joins the Oklahoma Internet Crimes against Children Task Force (ICAC) as a new affiliate member.