From the Freeport News
Grand Bahama's First Newspaper
Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Local/National News

Police investigating sudden death of American in Abaco

Police in Abaco are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of a U.S. visitor from Georgia on that island.

Reports indicate that at about 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 19, Beed Cooper, the front desk manager at The Abaco Club At Winding Bay, contacted the Marsh Harbour Police Station and reported that David Richard Knowlton, 53, of Norcross, Georgia, and a guest at that resort, went missing in the area of Ocean Point, situated at the eastern end of the property.

Officers proceeded to that location, where they received information that Knowlton along with three friends from Georgia Michael Lester, 52, William Hoffer, 51, and William Stamper Jr, 51, all of whom had arrived on the island on Thursday, August 16 for a four-day vacation went for a stroll to the Ocean Point around 7:30 p.m. to view the sunset and take photographs.

After the sun had set, Hoffer, Lester and Stampler stated that they started walking back towards the resort leaving Knowlton behind, as he had ventured out to the end of the high cliff known as 'Ocean Point'. They told officers that when Knowlton did not return after about 10 minutes, they decided to go back to look for him, but were unable to locate him anywhere.

The trio then went to the front desk and reported him missing, resulting in the police being contacted for assistance.

At about 10:15 a.m. on Monday, August 20, Knowlton's body was discovered by a diver, washed up against the rocks near a high cliff at Cherokee Sound.

Police and local citizens retrieved the body, which had sustained superficial lacerations, from the water and had it transported to the Marsh Harbour Community Clinic, where it was officially pronounced dead.

While police do not suspect foul play at this time, the body will be flown to New Providence, where an autopsy will be performed in order to determine the exact cause of death.

Central Detective Unit officers from Grand Bahama are presently on the island assisting officers there with the investigation.