Muskogee man found dead in Arkansas River

Dennis

The search for a missing Muskogee man ended Saturday morning when a Muskogee police officer located his body in the Arkansas River.

C.B. Abel, flying a private plane, located Luke Dennis, 29, during a search of the Braggs area where Dennis went missing Wednesday. The cause of death was not immediately clear. An Oklahoma Highway Patrol report listed the cause of death as drowning, but Muskogee County Sheriff's Department Public Information Officer Nick Mahoney said the department was not dismissing other causes.

"It could be drowning. It could also be exposure to the elements," Mahoney said. "It was very cold, and he was not dressed for the environment. It is not clear, and we have not ruled anything out."

Dennis was last seen when he knocked on the door of a home in the area of 8600 E. 63rd St. S., explained his vehicle was stuck, asked to use the phone, and called a wrecker.

However, when the wrecker arrived, they could find neither Dennis nor his truck, Mahoney said. Dennis' truck was located on Thursday, processed, and turned over to the family.

"That's when the family got suspicious, and that's when we came in and really started investigating this," Mahoney said. 

Dennis' body was located four miles from where his truck was found, which remains one of the pressing questions about the investigation, Mahoney said.

"We’re not 100 percent sure how he got there. When I say four miles, I mean four miles in a straight line," Mahoney said. "He would not have been able to get there in a straight line."

While the sheriff's office did not suspect foul play, Mahoney said they weren't ruling it out entirely, either.

"There’s a lot of things that are unclear, still a lot of questions that we have and that I know that the family has," Mahoney said. 

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