A missing Greensville County Sheriff's Deputy is dead after an apparent car accident.
Investigators say before 12:00 a.m. Saturday, a dive team was dispatched to the scene not far from where the vehicle was last reported driving. They tell us early Saturday morning they discovered the vehicle of Deputy Percy Lee House III in a creek off of Massie Branch Road in Greensville County. Deputy House was found deceased inside the car. Virginia State Police is in the midst of conducting a full investigation, but the accident appears to be the result of icy road conditions.
The Greensville Sheriff's Office sent a "be on the lookout" notice to all law enforcement agencies nationwide around 3 p.m. Friday. The 52-year-old last made contact with the Greensville County Sheriff's Office about 9:24 a.m. Friday. Deputy House was last spotted in the small town of Skippers in Greensville County.
Larry Ferguson met Deputy House 25 years ago. He stopped by the creek off Massie Branch Road where his best friend was found dead inside his patrol car.
"Everybody loved him, wasn't nothing people wouldn't do for him or he'd do for you," Ferguson said.
Search teams made up of law enforcement officers from neighboring counties and state police looked for the 52-year-old for more than 12 hours on Friday. Officials say skid marks along the side of the road prompted the search of this creek. Dive teams located House after midnight Saturday.
Authorities believe that Deputy House lost control of his vehicle because of ice on the roads making them slippery, sending his car into this creek. The creek is littered with debris from House's patrol car. Parts of the water were still frozen Saturday.
Larry says he and Deputy House would go fishing, hunt, and joke with each other often. Larry often teased House about his height a whopping 6' 8" calling him a force to be reckoned with.
"He is 10 feet tall and bullet proof," Larry said.
Though Deputy House is gone, his memory will live on through the many stories that will be shared by friends like Larry Ferguson.
"Lee I want you to know we miss you and we loved you very much, may God be with you," Ferguson said.
"I want to thank my staff, volunteers from our community, and public safety agencies from the surrounding area for their quick response and support over the last 24 hours," said Greensville County Sheriff James Edwards. "The loss of Deputy Lee House III to our close department and our community is tragic and unexpected. Please keep his family and all of our first responders in your thoughts and prayers."
John W. Jones, Executive Director of the Virginia Sheriffs' Association, offered sentiments from sheriffs around the Commonwealth: "The Virginia Sheriffs family is saddened today by the loss of Deputy Sheriff Lee House. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and the Greensville County Sheriff's Office for this tragic loss."
If you have information that could assist in the investigation, please call the Greensville County Sheriff's Office at 434-348-4200.