KEY LARGO, Fla. (AP) — The director of Ohio's state crime lab died while scuba diving, authorities said Thursday.
Ronald Dye, of Grove City, Ohio, and a buddy were diving about 6 miles offshore Wednesday when they surfaced after about 25 minutes, Monroe County Sheriff's officials said.
The friend told deputies Dye was low on air and that Dye then indicated something was wrong, but he didn't tell him what it was.
The captain of a commercial dive vessel, Tropical Adventures, told deputies a crew member went into the water with a rescue buoy and helped the men back to the boat. A crew member started CPR and the boat headed for the dock, but the 56-year-old Dye was declared dead a short time later at a hospital.
The cause of death wasn't immediately clear, and an autopsy was scheduled.
The office of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said Dye had led the Bureau of Criminal Investigation lab for the past year-and-a-half and was credited with helping to cut the turnaround time for DNA evidence testing there.
Dye had worked for more than 30 years at the lab, which provides law enforcement with services such as help in processing evidence from crime scenes. He rose through the ranks until he was chosen to lead the lab after a national search, and he was excited to be part of the state's new forensic dive team announced last year, DeWine said Thursday.
"He was a true professional, great guy to work with, very open to innovation," DeWine said.
He described Dye as a quiet, well-liked employee who was easy to work with and known for maintaining high standards at the lab. DeWine said Dye had pushed for the lab to pursue a lengthy accreditation process, and the office learned the day he died that the lab had received accreditation.