Body found in Whitley Co. pond identified as missing man

Published: Sep. 27, 2017 at 9:14 AM EDT
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Officials confirm a man found dead in a Whitley County pond is a missing McCreary County man.

The man has been identified as John T. Smith, 38 of Whitley City. Relatives reported him missing on September 17. He was last seen at Walmart in London a week earlier. Police Smith had recently lived in the Corbin area.

Gerald Hart, who owns a farm off Cox Smith Lane discovered a body around 5:00 p.m. Monday, in a pond on his property. Hart said at first glance he thought it was an animal floating in the pond, but a closer look revealed it to the body of a person.

Medical examiner's confirmed the body belonged to Smith. The coroner says Smith had no obvious signs of trauma.

Police say Smith was last seen wearing a gray T-shirt, jeans and a hat. Hart said he was still wearing some of that when he was found in the pond.

He told WKYT yesterday he questions how someone could have gotten to his pond, which is on private property surrounded by a gate and barb wire fence.

"But nobody could have ventured in here. There is nobody here to commit suicide. I'm sure there are better and quicker ways to do that. The water is not deep enough to drown in, on this end of the pond," Hart said.

Officials have not commented on a cause of death. London city police and Corbin police are investigating.