The Richmond Register

January 16, 2013

Man found dead in creek west of Berea

KSP investigating death

By Ronica Shannon
Senior News Writer

RICHMOND — The Kentucky State Police are conducting a death investigation after the body of an elderly man was found Wednesday morning off KY 21 in Madison County.

The body of Walter Coomer, 81, was found in a shallow creek that ran by his home where he lived alone at 1654 Paint Lick Road, just west of Berea, according to Trooper Paul Blanton, KSP public information officer.

“He was found by family members,” he said.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Department first received the call Wednesday morning but asked for the KSP’s help at about noon, Blanton said.

“The coroner has taken his body to Frankfort for an autopsy,” he said. “There were no obvious signs of trauma. If the autopsy is completed today, we may know the cause of death. Right now, it’s a death investigation.

However, if a blood test is needed to determine whether Coomer had a heart attack, the results could be delayed, Blanton said.

“It looked like he was going across to the other house,” he said. “There’s a shallow stream there (between Coomer’s home and his neighbor’s home). It’s possible that the stream was up when he went across.”

He was found wearing a button-up shirt and pants but was not wearing shoes, Blanton said.

Coomer has at least two daughters who were on the scene Wednesday, he said. Coomer also has siblings, but their names were not available at press time.

KSP detectives will conduct an investigation of Coomer’s residence to look for evidence of foul play, however none is suspected.

“They have to go in the house and make sure there’s nothing missing,” he said.

The time of Coomer’s death was not available at press time.

Ronica Shannon can be reached at rshannon@richmondregister.com or 624-6608.