Update: Man dead after jumping into river to escape police, per officials

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BELFRY, Ky. - Update 8:29 p.m.

Officials with Kentucky State Police say Mark J.Hatfield is dead.

According to a news release, He died around 2:40 p.m. while being treated for exposure at the hospital.

His body was transported to the State Medical Examiner's office in Frankfort for an autopsy Friday.

Hatfield was being arrested on theft charges when he took off and jumped into the Tug Fork River.

You can read the original story below.

Orginal Story
Troopers said a man jumped into the Tug Fork River to escape police Thursday morning. They said he admitted to stealing a purse from a car parked at Appalachian Tobacco in Pike County, just before he made his escape.

Emergency crews searched for Mark J. Hatfield, 32, believing there was a chance he was still in the water.

"When he went out of sight and down the stream and down the bend and nobody saw him come out ... We [were] trying to determine if he did get out or if he [was] still in the river," Doug Tackett, the Pike County emergency management director said.

Kentucky State Police say they got the call just after 6 a.m. Hatfield is well-known in the area and many knew where he lived.

Trooper William Petry says evidence was found at the house Hatfield was staying in and he later admitted to stealing the purse from the parked car.

"As the trooper was going to arrest him, a fight ensued for a few minutes and the subject got away and went over the creekbed and jumped into the river," Petry said.

Crews covered as much of the river as they could with a boat but still feared the cold temperatures would get to Hatfield first. They were concerned that Hatfield's body temperature would drop.

"When it's 25 degrees and you go into water that's probably anywhere from 40 to 35 degrees your core body temperature is going to drop really [quickly]," Tackett said.

He was later found on railroad tracks in West Virginia by authorities in Mingo County.

Trooper Petry says he was taken to Williamson Memorial Hospital for medical attention.

Tackett says he hopes they got to him quick enough.

"It's imperative to get medical attention as fast as possible. You've got to be re-warmed in order to survive something like that."

Hatfield was charged with theft by unlawful taking, criminal mischief, assault, fleeing on foot, and resisting arrest.

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