Dickey is a native of Columbus, Ohio who returned from Iraq in May after a 10-month deployment with the Army National Guard. He had been staying at a Canton Avenue home with Meredith Gallegos, an employee in the Erie County prosecutor’s victim assistance unit. He was with Gallegos and some friends from late Saturday until the early morning on Sunday when he disappeared.
"Mr. Dickey became angry with the group and advised he would be walking home,” the report said. “He left prior to the rest of the group after yelling at others leaving the bar area.”
Friends tried calling his cell phone, but it was turned off. They also checked with the county jail, hospital, and others who know Dickey. No one had seen him. Friends reported him missing at 6:45 p.m. on Sunday 10/17.
Huron, Ohio, is a small town of just over 7,300 residents. It is located about 20 minutes east of Sandusky and about an hour west of Cleveland.
The Search for Nathan Dickey
Police investigating the case checked with employees at i5’s, taxi drivers, and even other police officers who were patrolling the city on Sunday morning. No one recalled seeing Dickey in the area.
“We are confident this is a missing persons case,” Huron police Chief John Majoy said. “This is not someone who just took off.”
Dickey's truck was left behind at his residence. His cell phone was shut off and there had been no activity on his bank account or credit cards since early Sunday. He posted no messages on Facebook or contacted anyone.
|Photo credit: |
Sandusky Register/Jason Werling
“We are worried sick,” Kaley Dickey, his estranged wife, wrote on a Facebook page. “Things just aren’t looking good at all.” She added: “Please keep Nathan in your prayers and that they find him and everything is okay.”
Kaley and Nathan Dickey have an 11-month-old daughter together.
On Tuesday, an unidentified woman told police that a man had been seen lying on a front lawn, possibly passed out drunk, in the 300 block of Williams Street (near Cleveland Road West) early Sunday morning. The area was about 1,000 feet from the bar where Dickey was last seen. Police searched the area and located a puddle that appeared to be vomit. A sample was collected and it is being analyzed to ascertain whether it was left there by Dickey, according to police. A bloodhound was then brought in to search Williams Street. According to Fox Toledo, a sheriff's dog acquired Dickey's scent and tracked a trail toward the Huron River. Nothing else was found.
"We don't know for certain that it was his vomit," Chief Majoy said. "But they they did find a possible track, but that is where it ended."
Majoy said there are no signs of foul play, but police have ruled nothing out.
“We are looking at every possible avenue,” Majoy said.
On Oct. 20, dive teams spent several hours searching the bottom of the Huron River. Watercraft from the Sandusky and Huron Fire Departments also canvassed the area on each side of the dive effort. Police have previously said that dragging the river with equipment would be futile because the river bottom is littered with logs and other debris.
On Monday, October 25, 2010, the mud-covered body of Nathan Dickey was pulled from the Huron River by Huron firefighters at 4:43 pm. The fire department was called to the scene after a person at the Huron Boat Basin reported seeing a body floating about 100 yards offshore, Huron police Chief John Majoy told the Sandusky Register. In all likelihood, the body had just surfaced, he said.
“It’s a really sad ending,” Majoy said. “A very, very sad ending.”
Dickey's body was found wearing one shoe, indicating that the one found in the water last week was his. According to the Register, the body "was fully clothed when pulled from the water, and there were no immediate signs of trauma indicating foul play, Majoy said. In Dickey’s pockets police found his wallet, driver’s license and cell phone."
An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday with the Lucas County coroner’s office. According to Majoy, they will first look for a cause of death. The toxicology report will take another week or two.
A preliminary autopsy report completed Friday, October 29 by the Lucas County coroner’s office indicated there were no signs of trauma to Dickey's body. Dickey is believed to have accidentally drowned.
About Nathan Dickey
Nathan Dickey is described by friends as "good guy" and "a wonderful person...loved by so many."
“We all love him and we all miss him,” his friend Casey Gonzalez told the Register. “And, we wish he could have returned home in a different way: safe.”
Nathan's obituary read:
Nathan R. Dickey, age 21, of Canal Winchester, Ohio, died Sunday, October 17, 2010. Nathan was born on March 2, 1989 and was a 2008 graduate of Pickerington High School Central and Eastland Career Center. Nathan is a member of the Ohio Army National Guard and just returned from Iraq on May 31, 2010. Nathan is survived by his wife, Kaley Dickey, and his daughter, Ava Valerie Dickey. He is also survived by his father and step-mother, Mark Edward Dickey and Frances J. Dickey; mother, Jennifer Moore; sisters, Rabecca Dickey, Abigail Kotula, and Theresa Williams; brothers, David Williams and Antonio Foster; grandparents, George and Darlene Bell, Dennis and Bonnie Dickey, Kenneth Kotula; great-grandmother, Betty Kotula; aunts, uncles, cousins, many good friends. Nathan is also survived by his battle buddies and fellow soldiers from Ohio Army National Guard, 1192nd Engineer Company who had his back in Iraq and formed a bond with Nathan that made them his family.Dickey was a member of the Ohio National Guard for about five years. He had served 10 months in Iraq in the 1192nd Engineer Company before returning to Ohio in May 2010.
Friend and fellow guardsman, Will Grosswiler, wrote on Dickey's Facebook page:
"I wanted a different ending. Although we can't always get what we want. I have now learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, or end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, and making the best of every moment, without knowing what's going to happen next."A memorial service was held for Dickey's family and friends on Friday, October 29, 2010 at the Cotner Funeral Home in Reynoldsburg, followed by a funeral service with an Army National Guard honor guard. Interment is at Violet Cemetery in Pickerington, Ohio.
The Dickey Memorial Fund has also been established through Chase Bank to assist Nathan’s wife and daughter. A check payable to Dickey Memorial Fund can be dropped off at any Chase branch or the Cotner Funeral Home, 7369 E. Main St., Reynoldsburg, OH
Name/age: Nathan R. Dickey, 21
Last seen: 10/17/10, i5's Bar and Grill on Main Street in downtown Huron.
Recovered: 10/25/10, Huron River
Hometown: Canal Winchester, Ohio
Physical Description: white male with short brown hair, 5-feet-8-inches, 180 pounds and green eyes. He was last wearing a black T-shirt with a gray skull on it, blue jeans and black-and-white Nike shoes.
Originally published: 10/24/10. Updated 12/16/10.