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A National Guardsman named Isaac Lee Turpin tragically fell to his death over Kentucky’s steepest waterfall while trying to catch his runaway dog, Cujo. The 23-year-old sergeant likely slipped while chasing his pup, who had broken loose during their walk around the Big South Fork National River park. Turpin’s body was discovered by an out-of-town family after they noticed a tactical backpack sticking out of the water at the base of Yahoo Falls. Cujo was found after the accident and returned to Turpin’s fiancée, who was left devastated by the loss.

Yahoo Falls is known as the steepest waterfall in Kentucky, featuring a 113-foot drop down a large rock house to a shallow pool. Turpin, who lived just 30 miles from the falls, was an avid outdoorsman and hiker. He frequently explored state and national parks with his puppy by his side. Turpin was also a decorated National Guard servicemember, receiving several military honors. He was planning a wedding with his partner, Cherish Menken, who described him as her light and someone she had always prayed for.

Turpin’s loved ones shared pictures on social media showing him enjoying the outdoors, riding his motorcycle, camping, playing his guitar, and spending time with family and friends. His obituary described him as someone who loved life and touched everyone who knew him. Menken expressed her devastation and described the deep void left in her heart by Turpin’s passing. She considered him to be the perfect partner for her and felt incredibly lucky to have had the time she spent with him.

Menken also took to Facebook to share her grief, expressing that no words could adequately describe how devastated she was by Turpin’s death. The couple was planning a future together, and now Menken is left to navigate life without her beloved partner. Turpin’s tragic fall and death are currently under investigation, with officials waiting for autopsy results to determine the exact cause. The community is mourning the loss of a young man who touched the lives of many and left a lasting impact on those who knew him. Turpin will be remembered for his adventurous spirit, love of the outdoors, and dedication to serving his country.

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