May 19, 2021 |

The Saratoga Police Department wants to increase its force to five officers. While police reports show little activity to support the request, Chief Kenneth Lehr cited increased drug use in the community as the need extra officers. The discussion came up during last night’s town council meeting. Emma Diercks has the story.

Pictured above: Saratoga Hot Pools. Photo courtesy of Town of Saratoga.

The lack of official police reports, especially in one recent case, could create legal problems for the town. The question unasked at last night’s council meeting was what happened on the night of April 24th or the early morning hours April 25th. Details are sketchy because police have not filed a report about an incident where a man turned up dead hours later.

Here’s what we know: Saratoga Police officers contacted a wind energy worker at the hot pool. The 35-year-old unidentified man, who had an outstanding warrant, fled. Officers pursued him into the North Platte River where they lost the trail. Police then gave up the search and left the scene. The half-naked man was found dead in the river a few hours later by a jogger.

Although the coroner ruled the cause of death prolonged exposure to cold weather, police are calling it a “hot pool death.” While the discussion of a rash of hot pool deaths since December came up at last night’s council meeting, along with the general lack of reporting by the police department, the circumstances surrounding the death of the 35-year-old wind energy worker from Indiana were never raised. It did come up during an interview Bigfoot 99’s Cali O’Hare had with Interim County Coroner Brittany Nyman last week.

The police have not issued any details about the death of the wind farm worker in the North Platte River, including the name of the victim or with what company he worked. The coroner also declined to disclose the name.

Click here to watch a replay of the May 18th Saratoga Town Council meeting




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