20-year-old Oklahoma man found dead in frozen pond

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PONTOTOC COUNTY, Okla. – A 20-year-old man was found dead in a frozen pond in Ada this week.

Authorities said Colton Pennington, 20, was last seen at a New Year’s Eve party Sunday night, KTEN reports.

People at the party told investigators they believed someone had picked Pennington up from the party.

The next day, an oilfield worker discovered Pennington’s clothing and cell phone near a pumpjack in Ada, which was near a pond.

According to KTEN, the worker then used the phone to call Pennington’s father.

“He was concerned about the whereabouts of his son,” Pontotoc County Sheriff John Christian said. “They hadn’t heard from him, and with those items being found he certainly thought that was unusual.”

About 50 people started searching for Pennington.

“Just before dark, one of the searchers found some barefoot footprints on the ice on a pond, and then noticed that there was also a hole in the ice out on the pond,” Christian said.

A body was found in the icy water a short time later.

“I don’t know whether he was just walking, you know, with certainly no light,” the sheriff said. “Whether he just walked out on the ice not knowing he was walking out there, or he walked out there as a part of the hypothermia to also get cool.”

Christian explained that when the human body becomes hypothermic, it actually starts telling the brain that you’re hot instead of cold, which explains why Pennington may have stripped down to get into the water. The temperature was in the teens that night, KTEN reports.

According to KXII, authorities do no suspect foul play; however, the sheriff said he does suspect drugs may have been involved.

Christian told KXII that if a medical examiner determines Pennington had drugs in his system, charges could be filed against the person who gave the drugs to him.