Man's death now under investigation

Thursday, March 16, 2006

A Barry County man is dead following an altercation at a lake area campground, and Barry County law enforcement authorities are labeling the death as "suspicious."

Scott Harold Howell, 44, died early Saturday morning at a Bentonville, Ark., hospital. Howell was living south of Bates Corner at the time of his death.

According to Barry County Sheriff Mick Epperly, one of his deputies was called to the Shoreline Campgrounds in Eagle Rock at around 1:30 a.m. on Saturday.

"When my officer arrived, the victim was being loaded into the ambulance and a lady was attempting to perform CPR on him," said Epperly. "He was then airlifted to a Bentonville (Ark.) hospital where he was DOA."

Initial autopsy results are inconclusive, Epperly said.

"We originally believed he was stabbed in the stomach area, but the autopsy showed that those were only superficial wounds," Epperly said. "That didn't kill him, and now we're waiting for a cause of death."

Epperly said a fight broke out between Howell and several other individuals at the campground area, which is located off of Highway 86. Alcohol was involved in the altercation, Epperly said.

A woman was arrested for assault in connection with the incident but later released pending further investigation.

"Howell's death is under investigation as a suspicious death until we can determine cause of death," Epperly said. "There still may be charges for assault and there may be follow-up charges on other individuals pending the outcome of the autopsy."

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