DeKalb County, TN – The body of Lebanon Police Department (LPD) Officer Joseph Bowen was found in a DeKalb County creek on Thursday, approximately 300 yards from his partially submerged pickup truck, police said.
Officer Bowen, 28, was heading home from his night shift at approximately 6 a.m., just after he called his wife to let her know he was on his way, WKRN reported.
Investigators said that Bowen’s truck veered off of the highway, over an embankment, and into the creek, which had swelled from recent rains.
When her husband never returned home, Officer Bowen’s wife called 911, prompting an aerial search, the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) told WKRN.
Police first located the officer’s vehicle, and ultimately recovered his body approximately 300 yards away.
Officer Bowen, a father of two, was a third-generation member of the LPD. His grandfather, Frank Bowen, has since retired from the department, but he was able to work alongside his father, Officer Dewayne Bowen, the Lebanon Democrat reported.
Officer Bowen also previously worked as a DeKalb County Deputy, WSMV reported.
“The Lebanon Police Department is asking for prayers as we mourn the loss of one of our officers,” LPD Sergeant P.J Hardy said in a statement to the Lebanon Democrat. “Veteran Officer Joe Bowen was recovered from the Smith Fork Creek after his vehicle ran off the roadway earlier today. The investigation is pending. Officer Bowen leaves behind a wife, two children and a family who loved him, both by blood and in blue.”
A fundraiser to help support Officer Bowen’s family has been established on YouCaring.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Lebanon Police Department Officer Joseph Bowen, both blood and blue. Godspeed, we will take the watch from here.
Thank you for your service.