Details of Disappearance
McNeely, a Kentucky State Trooper, was last seen while on a flood rescue mission on the Kentucky River in Frankfort, Kentucky on April 8, 1972. His boat was swept over the dam at Lock 4.
Another state trooper, 39-year-old David Thomas Childs, was in the boat. His body was later found in the Ohio River near Tell City, Indiana; he had drowned. McNeely's body has never been recovered, but he is presumed to have drowned also. A photo of Childs is posted with this case summary.
In May 2014, the Kentucky State Police held a memorial service for McNeely and named a five-mile stretch of KY 339 "James W. McNeely Memorial Highway", in his honor. He disappeared one day after the sixteenth anniversary of the day of his joining the state police, leaving behind a wife and three children.