Sheriff’s Office closes death investigation

Published 4:00 pm Friday, January 14, 2022

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The Covington County Sheriff’s Office has closed its investigation involving the discovery of a body on Gantt Lake in November.

After the investigation, which included autopsy results from the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, the death of David Lee Brooks, 44, has been ruled an accident.

On the morning of Nov. 24, 2021, at approximately 7:30 a.m., Brooks’ body was recovered from the north end of Gantt Lake. Local hunters had discovered the body floating face down near the mouth of Conecuh River. Through a collaborative effort with Opp Fire Department, Brooks’ body was recovered and sent to the ADFS for an autopsy. The preliminary investigation did not indicate foul play; however, the investigation was treated as an Equivocal Death because the case could present it itself as a homicide, suicide, or accidental death.

Sheriff Blake Turman said investigators executed a search warrant on Brooks’ abandoned home to get answers and nothing of evidentiary value was discovered. Investigators canvassed the area by boat, air and foot which revealed several trails leading from Brooks’ residence to the Conecuh River.

“The investigation became stagnant, and investigators relied on the autopsy results to determine the manner of death. The Sheriff’s Office has recently closed the investigation and Brooks’ death was deemed an accident. Forensic Science revealed several contributing factors and the location where Brooks was found coincide with his behavior,” Turman said in a released statement.

Even though the preliminary autopsy results did not indicate foul play, there were still a lot of unanswered questions. The location made the investigation difficult, but investigators continued to look for leads and piece things together.

“Mr. Brooks was known for searching for arrowheads along the Conecuh River and the surrounding area which explains his location. I am pleased to report no foul play and offer our prayers for the Brooks family,” Turman said.