Lake Cherokee death ruled as accidental

Published: May. 16, 2023 at 9:37 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 25, 2023 at 2:56 PM CDT
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CHEROKEE VILLAGE, Ark. (KAIT) - A man’s body found in a lake two months ago has been ruled an accidental death.

Cherokee Village Police Chief Monte Lane said 35-year-old Derek Hughes was found dead in Lake Cherokee around noon Tuesday, May 16.

According to the toxicology report, Hughes had a blood alcohol level of .297, over three times the legal limit.

Hughes had nothing else in his system other than nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine, according to Lane, and his death was ruled as accidental.

Hughes was reported missing late Saturday, May 13, after he left the Copper Feather Bar & Grille intoxicated.

“It was unclear if Hughes had left on foot or in a vehicle,” police said. “Investigators pinged his phone, but the business was the last location noted on that phone.”