A Man is Found Dead in a River in Clay County

By: Amanda Price Email
By: Amanda Price Email

Just hours after his family reported him missing, a teenager is found dead.

The 19-year-old's body was in a river in the Big Creek area of Clay County. Now, police want to know how he got there.

Police say Matthew C. Swafford of Garrard, Kentucky was with his brother and a friend and somehow ended up in the Red Bird River just off US 421. Police are now trying to figure out what happened and if foul play is involved.

A missing man is found dead in a river and police are asking questions.

Mike Bowling, with Kentucky State Police says, “An autopsy is going to be performed and we're not for sure if he was dead when he hit the water or if he died as a result of drowning. It's definitely two areas we're looking in when the autopsy's going to be performed.”

Police say 19-year-old Matthew Swafford was out with his brother and a friend before he died.

Kevin Johnson, with Clay County Sheriff’s Department says, “Initial reports were that they had been out consuming alcohol prior to him becoming missing.”

Police want to know why the incident wasn't reported sooner.

Bowling says, “He was last seen with some gentlemen, they were partying last night early this morning and they were last known to be, the victim was last known to be in their presence and they just kind of re traced their steps.”

Police say they think his body was in the Red Bird River since about 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

Bowling says, “He got out of the car allegedly to use the bathroom and that's when he fell over the embankment.”

Police are saying the victim somehow fell off this embankment here and landed in the river eight to 10 feet further back, face first.

Bowling says, “We still have the scene to process and several things to do before we make an arrest but it's definitely an investigation. we have some individuals we are interested in that we want to talk to.”

Police say they're also investigating reports that the same group of guys was stopped by a constable last night.

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