Off-duty Tenn. officer found dead following crash
Dekalb County, Tenn.
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Officer Joseph Bowen, 28, was heading home after his shift when his truck went off an embankment and into the creek

By PoliceOne Staff

DEKALB COUNTY, Tenn. — A Tennessee officer’s body was found in a creek following an off-duty crash.

WKRN reports that Lebanon PD Officer Joseph Bowen, 28, was heading home after his shift when his truck went off an embankment and into the creek. The search for the officer began after Bowen, who spoke to his wife on the phone shortly before the crash, never returned home.

Authorities eventually found his mangled truck and discovered Bowen’s body about 300 yards away from his vehicle on Thursday. 

“A rescue unit walking along the river bank was able to catch just a portion of what looked to be his duty belt rising above the water,” said Lebanon Police Sergeant PJ Hardy. “Everything else was submerged. They thought that might be part of his duty belt and they were correct.”

Hardy said more than 100 personnel from different agencies searched for Bowen. Hardy said the Lebanon PD is mourning the loss of one of their own.

“Joe was a great guy,” Sgt. Hardy said. “He was one of those that sat there for a little while and didn’t say a whole lot and all of a sudden he’d just put one out there and just puts a big smile on everybody’s face. He was super nice, liked by everyone.”

Bowen leaves behind a wife and two children.

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