Former Sheriff Drowns While Fishing on Missouri River

The death of Leon Simpson, 74, of Great Falls, has been ruled accidental

By Associated Press

GREAT FALLS — A former Pondera County sheriff and Conrad police chief drowned while fishing on the Missouri River, Cascade County Sheriff Jesse Slaughter said.

The death of Leon Simpson, 74, of Great Falls, has been ruled accidental, Slaughter said.

Simpson’s body was found near Rainbow Dam northeast of Great Falls on Thursday afternoon. He was not wearing a life jacket. His boat was found on the opposite shore by state game wardens.

Simpson was the Conrad police chief from 1980 to 1987 and was Pondera County sheriff from 1987-2004, the Great Falls Tribune reported.

His death was the second drowning on the Missouri River in less than a week. A former Great Falls lawmaker, Cleve Loney, died in a kayaking accident southwest of Cascade on Aug. 22.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.