Police: Death of Lakota grad found in river 'suspicious' - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Police: Death of Lakota grad found in river 'suspicious'

Joey Labute (provided photo) Joey Labute (provided photo)
COLUMBUS, OH (AP/FOX19) -

A coroner says a man whose body was found in the Scioto River was probably dead before he went into the water.

Franklin County's coroner says there is a "high probability" that Joseph "Joey” LaBute Jr. was dead before he went into the river in Columbus. She says further medical and toxicology tests are needed to determine what caused his death.

Labute was a 2007 graduate of Lakota East High School.

Police say the man's body was found half-submerged in the river on Tuesday. They said they were treating the death as suspicious.

Coroner Dr. Anahi Ortiz says the autopsy showed no external "traumatic injuries" such as a gunshot or stab wound. It could take weeks to get further test results.

Family members say LaBute was last seen March 5 at a Columbus bar.

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