MIAMI COUNTY, Kan. – Police have identified the man who drowned Saturday at Hillsdale Lake as Mark Selbee, 45. Police said his two young children were found alone in the boat.
“It’s numbing to everybody, all of us,” Jarrod Townsend, friend, said.
Townsend has been friends with Selbee for 20 years. He said Selbee was on his brand new boat with his two oldest children on Saturday when he somehow went overboard.
“He is so big and strong and fit,” Townsend said. “Mark had been swimming for exercise in the mornings. He’d been training every day. Mark is 6’4’’ 220 pounds. He’s a fighter.”
Selbee earned fame as a champion kickboxer who held several heavyweight titles.
“Mark was the kind of superman that could take anything,” Townsend said. “So nobody that I’ve talked to can believe that something like this could happen to Mark Selbee.”
For them, the nightmare began when Selbee’s wife, Amy, received a call from her husband’s cell phone. It was their oldest child saying that daddy went under and didn’t come up. She told them to sit in the middle of the boat and wait for help. A fisherman later saw the unmanned boat with two children on it.
Selbee’s body was recovered shortly after 6:30 p.m. on Sunday — approximately 27 hours after he drowned. Searchers used side-scan sonar technology to locate his body, which was 20 feet under water.
Circumstances surrounding the incident are unknown at this time. Townsend said there was no visible blunt force trauma to Selbee’s body. His friends can’t understand how someone so strong could have drown, saying if he hit a branch when he fell in, it shouldn’t have knocked him out because he’s been kicked a lot harder than that.
Autopsy results are expected to be complete on Tuesday.
Watch our initial report: