for immediate release
June 11, 2003

N E W S   R E L E A S E

Two of the recent apparent accidental drowning deaths in northwest Florida have occurred within the boundaries of Okaloosa County.

Robert Hehmeyer, age 57 (1-16-1946), was pulled from the surf at approximately 1:40 Sunday afternoon (June 8) near the Okaloosa County/Walton County line. Deputies from both counties responded to the scene. Hehmeyer's drowning has been reported in some media as occurring in Walton County, however, it has now been ascertained the event occurred on the Okaloosa side of the county line. Hehmeyer was a visitor from the St. Louis area.

Approximately 90 minutes later, Marla Amos, age 31 (2-14-1972), of Sellersburg, Indiana, was pulled from rough waters near the east edge of James Lee Park, a short distance west of the scene of the Hehmeyer drowning. Ms. Amos' 10 year old son, also pulled from the surf, survived. Approximately one dozen swimmers are known to have encountered trouble in the Gulf in Okaloosa County that day.

Since Sunday, only two "Swimmer in Distress" calls have been logged by the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office, both near the sites of the two drownings. Neither swimmer required hospital treatment.


for more information contact Rick Hord, Public Information Officer

(850) 651-7420