Police: Jonesboro teenager didn’t drown in Spring River; chokes to death

HARDY, AR (KAIT) – The Arkansas State Crime Lab says the teenager who drowned in the Spring River earlier this month, actually choked to death.

According to Associate Medical Examiner Daniel Dye, 15-year-old Steven Dinet, III actually choked to death and did not drown.

The report says during the autopsy the examiner found no water in Dinet's lungs or stomach, but instead found food stuck in his throat.

The family told police the Dinet had eaten around 2:30pm on August 7, several hours before he was last seen or heard from.

The Medical Examiner's Office has ruled the cause of death as choking due to aspiration of food and terminal submission as a contributing factor. The manner of death is accidental.

Dinet's father went rafting down the river, and Steven stayed behind on the falls. A short time later a family member thought they heard the teenager yelling for help. Rescue crews, family members, and volunteers search until darkness and bad weather forced them to call off the search.

Dinet's body was found the next morning, by rescuers using sonar and an underwater camera system.

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