National Guardsman Falls to His Death After Chasing His Dog

( – A young man who worked for the National Guard recently fell to his death while hiking with his dog. Police believe the individual gave chase when his pet ran off, and then he slipped and fell over the side of a rocky waterfall while in pursuit. Results from an autopsy are still on their way, and the person’s death is still under investigation.

The McCreary County Sheriff’s Office posted news of the death on Facebook. The March 31 post states that dispatch responded to a call two days earlier at 11:38 a.m. that a family from out of town discovered a body in Big South Fork National Park. The visiting hikers found the remains submerged in the water beneath Yahoo Falls, a tactical backpack just visible above the surface.

Police arrived 12 minutes after the call. They pulled the body from the water and identified the deceased as 23-year-old Isaac Turpin. The young man’s obituary shares that he had been a member of the National Guard since 2019, where he served as a sergeant and earned the Army Service Ribbon, National Defense Medal, and Armed Forces Service Medal. He also worked as a mechanic at UGN Automotive of Somerset.

Other responders who assisted at the scene included the Pine Knot and Whitley Fire Departments, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, the McCreary County Ambulance Service, the McCreary County Coroner’s Office, and rangers from Big South Fork National Park and Daniel Boone National Forest.

Yahoo Falls is Kentucky’s steepest waterfall, with a 113-foot drop that ends in a shallow pool. Turpin had reportedly enjoyed being outdoors and hiked often. He lived only about 30 miles from the Big South Fork National Park hiking trail that took his life.

The dog, named Cujo, was recovered unharmed and returned to Turpin’s fiance, Cherish Menken. The young woman reportedly shared on Facebook that Turpin was the “light [she] had always prayed for.”

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