Thursday, September 18, 2003

Man found dead in SUV in pond



By Jennifer Edwards
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[IMAGE] Divers place markers near possible evidence at the wreckage of a Chevy Blazer that crashed in a West Chester pond.
(Michael Snyder photo)
| ZOOM |
WEST CHESTER TWP. - Police were trying to figure out Wednesday what caused a Mason man to drive an SUV off Tylers Place Boulevard and into a retention pond at a gated condominium complex next to Interstate 75.

The man, identified Wednesday evening as Marion Jackie Roe, 48, was found dead in his Chevy Blazer, which sank into the pond. While foul play was not suspected, it was not ruled out, West Chester police said.

Roe was headed north on Tylers Place Boulevard about 11 p.m. Tuesday when he drove off the road, hit two trees and careened down a hill before flipping over into the pond at The Fairways at Wetherington, police said.

A passerby noticed a portion of the vehicle and two of its tires poking out of the water about 8 a.m. Wednesday and alerted a friend, who contacted police.

West Chester detectives and divers from the Butler County Sheriff's Office spent much of Wednesday morning gathering evidence and searching the pond to be sure more bodies weren't submerged.

It was not known if alcohol or drugs were involved. But when the vehicle was towed from the water about 11:15 a.m., prescription bottles belonging to Roe were found inside, Police Chief John Bruce said. The names of the drugs were not released.

Roe was found in the back seat of the vehicle and was not wearing a seat belt, he said.

Neighbors in Fairways, a condo complex next to the Wetherington golf course, were shocked.

Two women said they heard a "terrible noise" about 11 p.m. Tuesday but assumed it came from I-75. A third woman passed by on her way home at 1 a.m. and said she didn't notice it.

"From now on I'll be more careful and look," said Pat Erving, 50.

E-mail jedwards@enquirer.com.




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