updated 5/23/2007 6:08:34 PM ET 2007-05-23T22:08:34

A probation officer who dove into the Ohio River while chasing a suspect was found dead early Wednesday, authorities said.

The body of officer David Poling, 32, was recovered from the river around 2:30 a.m., more than nine hours after the chase began, Police Chief Clinton Patterson said.

Poling, who worked for the Gallipolis Municipal Court, had tried to stop Joseph Harris, 22, on a city street Tuesday afternoon, Patterson said. For some reason, Harris bolted to the nearby river and jumped in from a bank 10 to 15 feet above the water.

Another officer with Poling ran after him, and Poling jumped into the river, police said. According to witnesses, Poling went under and didn't surface, Patterson said. The other officers were unable to find him.

It wasn't clear why Harris fled, Patterson said. He was captured about two hours later on an island in the river and was charged with obstructing official business.

Harris was being held in the Gallia County Jail on $200,000 bond. He did not have an attorney, a jail corrections officer said.

Patterson said the investigation in Poling's death was in the early stages.

"We really haven't been able to talk to the other officer involved yet," he said. "We're basically giving him a chance to get his thoughts together because (the officers) were close friends."

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