As first reported by WHO13, an elderly man's body was recovered from a rural pond in Madison County on the afternoon of Thursday, September 29.

At approximately 12:30 PM, Madison County Sheriff’s Deputies received a report of a possible drowning at a small pond in the area near the intersection of Wildrose Lane and 105th Street in rural Madison County. The county is located southwest of Des Moines.

Search and rescue divers were called upon from the Des Moines Police Department to inspect the pond in hopes of finding the man who had drowned.

According to a Facebook post by the Madison County Sheriff's Office, they were also "assisted at the scene by the Madison County Ambulance, Norwalk Fire & Rescue, Madison County Emergency Management, and the Madison County Medical Examiners Office."

Per the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, the body of the man was recovered from the pond at about 4:30 PM. The adult male was later identified as Leonard Wolfe, an 86-year-old man from Windsor Heights. Windsor Heights is a suburb of Des Moines, about a 40-minute drive from the center of Madison County.

An investigation into Wolfe's drowning is still ongoing, and no further details were provided to the public.

The Ag Safety and Health website recommends the following regarding behavior and maintenance to ensure safety around farm ponds:

  • Post No Trespassing and/or Keep Out signs around the pond.
  • Promote proper swimming instruction for all children.
  • Eliminate physical hazards in and around the pond, which may include sloping entrance areas and pond edges.
  • Dredge the pond regularly to remove submerged debris.
  • Employ a certified laboratory to test the pond’s water quality each spring.
  • Identify the depth of the water at various locations in the pond and indicate dangerous areas.
  • Insert a stable yellow rescue post in close proximity to the pond’s edge.
  • Never allow anyone to swim alone. Individuals who supervise swimmers should be trained in water rescue procedures and CPR.
  • If possible, install a fence with a locked gate around the pond.

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