May 11, 2009
A Sedalia man who jumped into the Liberty Park lagoon died.
The 40-year-old man was pronounced dead shortly after he was taken to Bothwell Regional Health Center about 10:30 p.m. Monday, said Sedalia Police Chief John DeGonia.
Pettis County Coroner Robert “Skip” Smith said the man drowned. He has yet to rule on the manner of death because it is still under investigation, but is leaning toward suicide based on witness statements.
DeGonia said witnesses in the park told officers the man “shouted a few things and jumped into the water” from a handicap-accessible fishing pier on the west side of the lagoon. They said the man swam for a little while then went under the water and they could no longer see him. The witnesses called police about 9:45 p.m.
Firefighters searched for the man in the water for 15 to 20 minutes before they were able to find him. Officers, American Paramedic Services Inc. personnel and firefighters immediately tried to resuscitate the man once he was pulled from the water, DeGonia said.
DeGonia said officers are unsure why the man jumped into the water.
Smith said no autopsy is planned, but he is waiting for toxicology reports to determine if drugs or alcohol were involved.