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After 9 deaths, state sues 'The Offsets' swimming quarry

Hawley on Monday announced the lawsuit against The Offsets in the Mine La Motte area north of Fredericktown.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A popular swimming spot is the target of a new lawsuit by the Missouri attorney general.

At least nine people have died at the old rock quarry known as 'The Offsets' in Madison County, Missouri.

Two of those deaths happened since July 4 of this year.

In his lawsuit, Attorney General Josh Hawley called the site a public nuisance that has no life-saving equipment or lifeguards. Hawley's lawsuit cites a lack of signage warning swimmers that jumping off the bluffs can be deadly.

Hawley claims the height and location of the bluffs surrounding the rock quarry make jumping into the water dangerous with no place to go nearby if anyone is injured.

Denise Mattingly's 20-year-old son drowned at 'The Offsets' a decade ago.

"All you want to do is cry, you don't know where to turn to. all you want to see if your son walking through the door, see his smiling face," said Mattingly.

She's now working with the mother of the most recent drowning victim, Cole Duffell who lost his life on the Fourth of July.

Mattingly said she has been fighting for years to get the site shut down.

"I've been wondering for ten years. I've begged [Hawley], I've called him every year, [asking] 'What are you going to do? How are you going to make it safer?'" said Mattingly. "That's why I'm glad Josh Hawley is looking into this. But this has been an effort from a lot of people to get this to happen."

Another young man died just the day after Mattingly's son drowned at the Offsets. Our calls to the Offsets this afternoon went unanswered.

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