Ronald Pearl, a 21-year old from Mount Vernon, Ohio, drowned in an attempt to swim across the Ohio River into West Virginia, just after midnight, Thursday morning. His body has not been found.
Frank E. Jordan, 58, of Barboursville, WV, witnessed the man's death and Ohio authorities have asked WV to extradite Jordan to Ohio because they believe Jordan lured Pearl to his death. Witnesses on both sides of the river claim to have heard Pearl and Jordan shouting across the river just prior to Pearl's death.
"Ronny yelled across to that damned hill billy to swim across the river and help him (Pearl) drink a bottle of Mad Dog," said Donald Witt, 17, of Portsmouth, Ohio.
"Frank told the Buckeye (Pearl) that he didn't feel well enough to swim over to the Ohio side of the river," said witness John Molle, 59, of Kanawha City, WV.
"Aw, come on over, red neck," said Pearl. "I got two bottles of 20/20," he promised Jordan.
"I just cain't swim over tonight," Jordan told Pearl. "I got a case of the runs," he claimed.
"A whole case," Pearl shouted as he dove into the muddy Ohio River. "I'll come over and help you drink it," said Pearl just before he slipped under the water never to be seen alive again.