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Autopsy reveals body found in Butler County pond is parolee's

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, at 6:59 p.m.
  • Updated Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, at 7:59 p.m.

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Authorities have determined that a body found in a Butler County pond is that of a 35-year-old parolee who disappeared after leading officers on a chase early Wednesday.

An autopsy found that Nicholas Vampran died from drowning, Butler County Sheriff Kelly Herzet said Monday.

Herzet speculated about whether Vampran might have hidden in the water to avoid search dogs.

Vampran had been released from prison and had been on moderate parole supervision since Sept. 27, according to Kansas Department of Corrections records available online. In recent years, he had convictions for theft, burglary, driving while suspended and fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement, the records show.

Herzet gave this account: Around 2:05 a.m. Wednesday, Butler County deputies learned that officers from other agencies were chasing a Dodge pickup after what began as a routine stop. The chase went back and forth between Sedgwick County and Butler County.

The pickup went into a field in a wooded area near the intersection of Southwest 120th and Blazing Meadows, in southwestern Butler County. The vehicle was discovered to be stolen.

The only occupant of the pickup jumped out and ran. Officers set up a perimeter around the area and brought in four search dogs from different agencies. The dogs searched the area until around 4 a.m. and couldn’t find the suspect, Herzet said.

He said he thought the search had been thorough.

Two days after the search, on Friday, Vampran’s mother contacted the Butler County Sheriff’s Office and filed a missing person’s report on her son. According to her, he was last seen in the area where the chase ended, Herzet said.

Around 5 p.m. Sunday, deputies received a report of a man’s body floating in a pond in the area where the chase ended.

Vampran’s friends had gone searching for him and spotted the body, Herzet said.

Deputies and EMS personnel responded, and the body was pulled from the water; the person was pronounced dead at the scene.

On Monday, authorities learned from an autopsy at the Sedgwick County Regional Forensic Science Center that the cause of death was drowning, and the body was positively identified as Vampran, Herzet said.

Reach Tim Potter at 316-268-6684 or tpotter@wichitaeagle.com.

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