Wife of SMU officer swept away in Turtle Creek hopes body will be found

The search for an SMU police officer who was swept away in flash flooding on Turtle Creek has been scaled back significantly as it enters its third week.

Mark McCullers, a Marine veteran and father to six children, was working a private security job early morning on July 5 at a home under construction when he disappeared.

It was a police dispatch call that triggered a massive search along Turtle Creek.

"Can you be in route 4100 St. Johns,” the dispatcher said in the call. “SMU officer is sitting over there. He's advising his car is starting to get too full of water. He's in a white Dodge Charger."

"Can't get to him 100,” an officer replied. “I'm trying to tell you I can't get to him… at this time.  The water is that high."

Surveillance video shows the moment the officer’s car gets swept away into the creek. It then shows McCullers jumping out the passenger door and disappearing into the water.

A short time later, Tiffany McCullers’ phone rang. It was Highland Park police.

“At 2:45, they asked me if I had heard from him,” she recalled. “And I didn't know what was going on."               

Tiffany began calling Mark's cell phone. He didn't answer.

“I kept thinking he let his phone die, he forgot his car charger. At 8 a.m. he's going to get into his car, plug his phone in and call me,” she said. “So when eight hit, you go back to shear panic again."

Tiffany watched on the news as a tow truck pulled her husband's car out of Turtle Creek hours after he was swept away.

Mark wasn't inside. His wife of four years was relieved. There was hope Mark could still alive.

Divers retrieved customized Marine emblems off Mark's Dodge Charger. Tiffany specifically asked for them.

"It makes me laugh because he spent so much time getting these made and he was so proud of these,” she said. “To have them is at least something.”

Fifteen days later and countless hours of searching, his body still hasn't been found.

"He was a great man,” Tiffany said. “He did a lot for his country and his city and his family. He was great.”

The fact that Mark is still out there keeps Tiffany up at night.

“I just want him to come home. Every day you wake up and think ok it’s time to come home,” she said. “I go to the roof to talk to him, and he's still not here."

A single game warden continues to search for Officer McCullers.

A memorial fund has been set up to help McCullers’ wife and their six children. People can donate online at www.paypal.me/officermarkmccullers or by visiting a Wells Fargo Bank and asking to make a donation to the ‘Officer Mark McCullers Memorial Fund.’

A memorial service is being held on July 28 at the McFarlin Auditorium located on the SMU campus. The service will start at 11 a.m. and is open to the public.

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