CINCINNATI (AP) — A sheriff's deputy who unsuccessfully searched for a 16-year-old Ohio boy who died while being trapped in a minivan acted within departmental policies, according to an internal investigation.
The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office report released on Friday includes Deputy Doug Allen's description of his actions during the April 10 search for Kyle Plush and the deputy's regrets that he did not trust a gut feeling that something wasn't right, WKRC-TV reported .
Even as a school official said no students were missing, "Allen drove around because he felt that something was not right," the report said.
Ron Plush found the body of his son inside the 2004 Honda Odyssey in a parking lot near his school nearly six hours after Kyle's first 911 call. A coroner says the teen died of asphyxiation from his chest being compressed. It is suspected that the foldaway rear seat flipped over as he reached for tennis gear in the back.
Two Cincinnati police officers also searched for the van, though those officers did not leave their cruiser, saying afterward they thought they could search a wider area that way. In addition, officers initially thought they were looking for an elderly woman locked in her vehicle, and were not given information from the initial 911 call that someone was banging and screaming for help.
Kyle was unable to communicate properly with dispatchers because his phone was in his pocket, according to an initial Cincinnati police investigation. That review also determined the city's computer-assisted dispatching system experienced difficulties throughout the call.
Cincinnati City Council approved a resolution May 14 calling on the mayor to pay for an independent investigation.
Cincinnati also is considering buying a computer mapping system that could have pinpointed for police officers Kyle's location.
Information from: WKRC-TV, http://www.wkrc.com