Coroner says water played a part in Black River death

David Owen (Source: Mark Little)
David Owen (Source: Mark Little)

BUTLER COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - The Butler County coroner says the man found in the Black River on Thursday was not a drowning.

The body of David Owen, 41, of Poplar Bluff was found Thursday.

According to Jim Akers, Butler County Coroner, it was not a true drowning death. Water did play a part in his death, but other physical problems were involved, according to the coroner.

The autopsy rules out foul play, said Akers and toxicology reports will have more details later.

Owen was seen swimming in the Black River with friends Wednesday.

Witnesses say Owen was in the river when a fight broke out. They got out of the water and when they got back in Owen was gone. Water Patrol crews found Owens body in the water Thursday morning around 10:30.

"There are a lot of rumors and conflicting stories," said Deputy Chief of Police Jeff Rolland. "We need to investigate all of those and figure out what happened and what didn't."

Police say they know alcohol was involved in the incident.

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