Mo. assisted living resident found dead after leaving facility

WASHINGTON COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - An assisted living resident was found dead early Friday morning below a bridge in St. Francois County.

According to the Washington County Sheriff's Office, Scott Freeman, 61, had reportedly left the facility between 1-2 a.m. Officers say Freeman had been documented as having medical and mental challenges and was placed in the facility by his guardian.

Washington County deputies started the search there and then went into St. Francois County.

Two hours after getting the first call of Freeman missing, deputies got a call of a man lying in a ditch near the facility. After searching there, they weren't able to find anyone.

After dawn, officers say a maintenance worker and two other residents walked to a nearby bridge by the Big River. Officers say that's where they found Freeman below the edge of the bridge.

According to the sheriff's office, Freeman received fatal injuries and was pronounced dead by the St. Francois County coroner.  An autopsy is also planned.

The sheriff's office says the Mo. Department of Health and Senior Services are involved in the investigation.

Officers say Freeman had been missing on five separate occasions since early August 2011.

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