No foul play in death of McKenzie man

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 3, 2006

The death of a man that was found floating in the pond of a McKenzie resident on Friday afternoon has been confirmed as accidental by forensic experts, according to Butler County Investigator Kenneth Hadley

Marcus Horton, 59, was discovered partially submerged and drowned in a small pond at the home of Ray Rainer on Garden Road in McKenzie.

Hadley said there were no indications of foul play and that Horton's lungs were full of water. He also said post-mortem tests indicated there was a high alcohol content in Horton's blood, confirming initial reports that the deceased was intoxicated on the Thursday night prior to his death.

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Rainer's residence sits just inside the Butler County-Covington County line.

Rainer, said Butler County Sheriff Diane Harris, told her that Horton had come to his home on Thursday night and was intoxicated.

&#8220He said he (Horton) was so drunk he couldn't hardly stand upŠhe had to hold on to something,” said Harris. &#8220Mr. Rainer said he (Horton) passed out in the yard, and he checked on him before he went to bed. He was still in the yard.”

The body was discovered by Randy Miller, who notified the Covington County Sheriff's Department about Horton's body, and then left for Florida.

Miller contacted Hadley soon after the removal of the body.

At the scene, Harris said she suspected Horton could have awakened at some point in the night and fallen into the pond, but she wouldn't rule out homicide until state forensic experts had completed their investigation.

Robert Cook, who is from Georgia and is visiting Horton's mother, Dottie, arrived on the scene shortly after the body was discovered. He said he last saw his nephew on Thursday afternoon.

&#8220I just can't imagineŠhe mentioned something to me about going deer hunting,” he said.

Horton's niece, Lisa Monroe, also arrived at the scene of the accident and identified the body as that of her uncle.

Regina Grayson contributed to this report.