The Missouri ER doctor whose body was found Tuesday in an Arkansas lake was murdered, his brother told Fox News Digital.
The Benton County Sheriff’s Office issued a press release Wednesday saying that John Forsyth, 49, was found dead of a gunshot wound in Beaver Lake by a kayaker who called 911 at 4:43 p.m.
Officials declined to comment on whether Forsyth’s injury was self-inflicted, but his brother, Richard Forsyth, said his brother was killed.
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“They’re treating this as a murder,” Richard told Fox News Digital, referring to detectives who visited the family Wednesday night. “They said it’s important to understand that the autopsy has not yet been completed and no report has been issued.”
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The body of dr. John Forsyth, who disappeared on May 21, turned up in Beaver Lake in northwestern Arkansas. (Google Maps/Cassville Police Department)
Richard added that the Benton County Sheriff’s Office is sharing few details to preserve the integrity of the investigation, but assured the family that it has spent huge resources on the case.
“It was extremely shocking to hear this news and of course it knocked all our theories out of the water,” said Richard, who had hoped his brother had disappeared to protect himself and others from danger.
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But the nature of that danger remains a baffling mystery to his family. Forsyth disappeared May 21 after finishing his shift around 7 a.m. at Mercy Hospital in Cassville, a town of about 3,000 in the Ozarks.
The father of eight finalized his divorce in mid-May with an order requiring him to pay $19,000 a month in alimony and child support.
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The couple had previously divorced and remarried before their latest split. His ex-wife’s divorce attorney, Ryan Ricketts, told Fox News Digital that she is “deeply shocked” by Forsyth’s death.
Dr. John Forsyth failed to show up for his 7 p.m. shift at Mercy Hospital in Cassville, Mo., May 21. (Google Maps)
A few days after the divorce decree, Forsyth proposed to his fiancée, whom he was texting when he suddenly stopped responding to messages.
That night, Cassville police found his black Infiniti about a mile from the hospital near a garbage facility.
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His wallet, two phones, car keys and a passport were still inside. The luxury RV he stays in during his shifts was still in the hospital parking lot, unlocked and containing his three other phones, his laptop and keys.
An extensive ground and dog search by the Cassville Police Department and the Missouri State Police turned up no leads.
Missouri dr. John Forsyth disappeared on May 21 after failing to show up for work at a local hospital. (Cassville Police Department/Facebook)
The discovery of Forsyth’s body about an hour south in northwestern Arkansas has left his family speechless and fears for their own safety.
“We don’t know who harmed him or for what reason and whether they intend to continue their aggression,” Richard said.
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The brother also learned from a friend shortly after Forsyth went missing that he had been kidnapped and released in February 2022.
“It was cold. He was tied up. He felt very unsafe and was taken on a car ride to a bridge with a few people and was threatened,” said Richard.
Dr. John Forsyth, right, and a map of the Cassville Aquatic Center where police found his black Infiniti sedan on Sunday. (Google Maps/Facebook)
He added that his family was not familiar with Beaver Lake.
“None of us had ever heard of it,” he said. “I don’t know if my brother had any connection to northwestern Arkansas.”
Sharing a love of math, Richard and his slain brother launched several business ventures together, including the creation of their own cryptocurrency.
Rebecca Rosenberg is an accomplished journalist and author of books with a focus on crime and criminal justice. Email tips to [email protected] and @ReRosenberg.