K9 officer drowns while chasing suspect

Vigor (source: Monroe County Sheriff's Office)

MADISONVILLE, TN (WATE)– Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is mourning one of their own after their K9 officer Vigor was swept away in a raging river.

Sheriff Tommy Jones said Vigor drowned in the Tellico River while he and his handler were tracking wanted suspect Doug Ellis in the Cherokee National Forest on Wednesday. They were near Tellico Plains.

“Vigor and his handler attempted to cross the river but were swept downstream by the strong current,” said Sheriff Jones. “His handler was able to make it to shore but Vigor was carried further downstream several hundred more yards.”

Sheriff Jones said another deputy was able to swim into the river and get Vigor, but they were unable to resuscitate him.

Ellis is wanted for violation of probation. He is on probation for kidnapping, aggravated assault and evading arrest. Deputies are still looking for Ellis and believe he may armed.

Condolences may be sent to:

Sheriff Tommy Jones
Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
319 Hickory Street
Madisonville, TN 37354

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