VILLAGE OF GRAND FALLS PLAZA, Mo — Divers find the body of a man that went over the edge of Grand Falls on Tuesday (6-14), and never resurfaced.

Crews with the Missouri Highway Patrol (MHP) dive team found 35-year-old Carterville, Missouri resident, Luke Standley, late this evening (6/15).

Divers that found Standley’s body, said he was located in a low-lying area on the creek bed, not far from where he was last seen entering the water.

The official report from MHP, which you can view below, says that late yesterday afternoon, Standley attempted to go over Grand Falls with a pool toy, struck a rock and drowned at the base of Grand Falls.

Around 6:30 p.m. this evening, Standley was pronounced dead at the scene by Newton County Deputy Coroner, Jerry Deems.

Standley’s body was found by using several types of new, under-water technology.

“We’ve been using underwater sonar imaging, we’ve used underwater cameras, we’ve tried almost everything that we can in the area where he went in.”

Andy Nimmo – Deputy Chief, Joplin Fire Department

The use of that technology paid off, as divers were able to locate Standley’s body, less than 24-hours after he drown.

35-year-old, Luke Standley, is Missouri Highway Patrol, Troop D’s 6th drowning for 2022.


VILLAGE OF GRAND FALLS PLAZA, Mo. — The ongoing search for a possible drowning victim in Newton County’s, Shoal Creek, enters its second day Wednesday (6/15).

Today, the Missouri Highway Patrol will be the leading agency in this operation, which now includes water rescue crews from other local agencies, including the Joplin Fire Department (JFD), who lead yesterday’s search, said JFD Deputy Fire Chief, Andy Nimmo, during an early morning call.

Search activities resumed at 8:00 a.m. this morning, after the decision was made Tuesday night around 9:00 p.m., to halt operations due to the dangerous conditions water rescue crews would likely encounter during a nighttime search, in swift moving waters, stated Deputy Chief, Nimmo.

Wednesday’s search for the possible drowning victim (a 35-year-old male) will continue to focus near the base of Grand Falls, but will also begin moving further downstream, said Deputy Chief, Nimmo.

Emergency crews will continue to comb the depths of Shoal Creek, while taking a thorough look at under water debris, such as submerged trees and rocks that are not be visible from the surface; places where Shoal Creek drowning victims were located in the past.

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Early this morning, the City of Joplin issued a news released concerning Tuesday’s incident at Grand Falls.

In the release, Joplin officials are asking everyone to stay clear of the Grand Falls area, as search efforts resume.

The news release also stated that Grand Falls is closed until further notice.

Deputy Fire Chief, Nimmo echoed the City’s call for residents to stay away from Grand Falls, including areas downstream, where the search for the possible drowning victim will also take place.

Joplin Police will be on-site to ensure the public doesn’t attempt to swim or fish in the closed areas.

An early morning news release was issued Wednesday (6/15) by Lynn Onstot, Public Information Officer for the City of Joplin, regarding the temporary closure of Grand Falls.


Just before 5:00 p.m. Tuesday afternoon (6/14), authorities say a 35-year-old male took a raft over Grand Falls, located just south of Joplin, and never resurfaced.

Joplin Police, along with fire and water rescue crews from the Redings Mill Fire Protection District and the Joplin Fire Department, both responded to the base of Grand Falls with two paddle rafts.

Later this evening, water rescue crews from Neosho and the Missouri Highway Patrol also arrived on scene to assist in the search.

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Deputy Fire Chief, Andy Nimmo, with the Joplin Fire Department, said the current along Shoal Creek, particularly near Grand Falls, is moving fast.

Deputy Chief Nimmo said the water rescue was called off around 9:00 p.m. for the night, and will resume tomorrow morning (6/15) at 8:00 a.m.

“This is exactly what could happen. Any number of things could happen if you go over. They shouldn’t be anywhere near the falls, it’s just not a good place to be.”

Andy Nimmo – Deputy Fire Chief, Joplin Fire Department

Because of the swift current along that portion of Shoal Creek, emergency crews will start Wednesday morning off, by searching for the male victim further downstream from Grand Falls.

One of those swimming at Grand Falls today was Giana Delapena.

“It’s definitely an eye opener, that I shouldn’t be taking these risks, because it can happen to anybody and it’s just really sad.”

Giana Delapena – Grand Falls Swimmer

If necessary, Nimmo said search crews will begin developing a longer-term plan, if the possible drowning victim isn’t found soon.

This is a developing story that we’re continuing to follow. When new information becomes available, you’ll find it right here on