The Tulsa man whose body was recovered in the Cimarron River on Wednesday afternoon has been identified as Joshua Griffin, 24, a Langston University student.
Griffin was discovered in about 8 feet of water at about 3:15 p.m. a few miles north of Guthrie on Highway 77 by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. OHP found the victim 50 feet of where he was last seen.
The state medical examiner’s office is investigating the death.
Griffin, an animal science major, was part of a group of a half-dozen individuals that included four volunteers and a biologist from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The group of volunteers were searching for a fish called the Arkansas Shiner. None of the volunteers were wearing life jackets.
In a press release, Langston University President JoAnn W. Haysbert said, “Langston University is mourning the death of anticipated graduate Joshua Griffin, who drowned tragically Wednesday in the Cimarron River.”
“Joshua was one of those students you never forget,” Haysbert said. “Our most heartfelt sympathies go out to his family and friends. This is a great loss to the Langston community, and we are deeply saddened by this tragedy.”
Griffin was four credits short of a bachelor’s degree in animal science.
Dr. Marvin Burns, dean of the school of agriculture, said Griffin had applied for graduate school at Oklahoma State and was a student who was extremely interested in working with wildlife. Dr. Burns said Griffin was one of those students who could always be counted on to volunteer for various activities in the agriculture department.
“He was a very conscientious student with great ambition,” Dr. Burns said. “Joshua very much looked forward to doing research and development in fisheries and biology and it showed in his enthusiasm as a student.”