Family files two lawsuits over son's drowning - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Family files two lawsuits over son's drowning

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Craig Ellingson Craig Ellingson

An Iowa family is filing two federal lawsuits after their son drowned in authorities' custody.

The incident happened at the Lake of the Ozarks in May. Brandon Ellingson was in custody of a Missouri state highway trooper after getting cited for being drunk.

Ellingson was handcuffed in a police boat when he either fell or jumped into the water and drowned.

The lawsuits accuse the Missouri state patrol officer of negligence.

"My son is supposed to be protected when he's taken into possession by the highway patrol," said Craig Ellingson, his father. "He should be safe and he should still be here."

The trooper says he put a life vest on Ellingson but it came off in the water.

The Morgan County coroner ruled there was no wrongdoing on the part of the state patrol. The family also claim the coroner conspired to cover up the facts in Ellingson's death.

"What he did was unconscionable and he needs to pay the price for that," said Craig Ellingson. "He needs to be charged with manslaughter for what he did."

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